Polish oil company to drill its first well offshore Norway as operator

PGNiG, a Polish state-controlled oil and gas company, is one step closer to drilling its first exploration well in Norway as a license operator. The well is planned for the second half of 2019. 

PGNiG said last week that its Norwegian subsidiary, PGNiG Upstream Norway, had acquired a detailed 2D seismic image, which will facilitate the selection of a drilling location in the Shrek prospect within the PL838 license area.

The company that it would be the first well drilled by the PGNiG Group as a license operator on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Piotr Woźniak, President of the Management Board PGNiG S.A.: “On the Shrek prospect, PGNiG will exploit its E&P know-how and experience in the new role as the operator of a license in the Norwegian Sea. It is important from the perspective of our diversification strategy, which envisages a major increase in own gas production in the region.”

The main objective of the site survey was to examine in detail the geological profile of the drilling target. Analysis of the collected data will minimize the risk of drilling into shallow gas or brine pockets or glacial erratics, which could pose a serious obstacle to the drilling operations. The company plans to drill the well in the second half of 2019.

In addition to the seismic image, a survey of the sea floor was performed with a remotely operated underwater robot. It was used to identify ecosystems sensitive to the impacts of drilling operations and to detect any unexploded ordnance, shipwrecks and other potential obstacles.

According to the company, the biggest challenge in marine seismic surveys is the weather. No survey can be carried out at wave heights exceeding 2.5 meters or the survey results will be compromised. Although the autumn season in the Norwegian Sea is marked by strong winds, PGNiG Upstream Norway took advantage of periods of good weather and managed to complete work under budget and ahead of schedule.

PGNiG Upstream Norway holds a 40% interest in the PL838 license, and its partners are Aker BP and DEA Norge (each holding a 30% interest). The company is the operator on one more license on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. In total, PGNiG holds interests in 21 exploration and production licences in the region.

PGNiG aims to increase natural gas production in Norway by 2.5 bcm annually after 2022. PGNiG’s proved reserves on the Norwegian Continental Shelf total 83 mboe.

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