Photo: Deepsea Yantai drilling rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Second North Sea discovery in four months for Neptune

Oil and gas company Neptune Energy has made a minor oil discovery near its operated Gjøa field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, its second in four months.

Neptune Energy and its partners on Friday announced a new commercial discovery at the Ofelia exploration well (PL 929) in the North Sea. The well was spud in late July, using the Deepsea Yantai semi-submersible rig owned by CIMC and operated by Odfjell Drilling.

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Now, Neptune has completed drilling of the Ofelia well, 35/6-3 S, and encountered oil in the Agat formation.

According to the company, the preliminary estimate of recoverable volume is in the range of 2.5-6.2 million standard cubic meters (MSm3) or 16-39 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). In addition to the Agat volumes, north of the well there is an upside of around 10 mmboe recoverable gas in the shallower Kyrre formation, which brings the total recoverable volume to approximately 26-49 mmboe.

Located 15 kilometres north of the operated Gjøa platform, at a water depth of 344 metres, Ofelia will be considered for development as a tie-back to Gjøa, in parallel with the company’s oil and gas discovery at Hamlet, announced in April 2022. Neptune emphasised that the platform is electrified with power from shore and produces at less than half the average carbon intensity of Norwegian Continental Shelf fields.

Neptune Energy’s Managing Director for Norway and the UK, Odin Estensen, noted that this is the company’s second discovery in four months.

Furthermore, it is the third discovery by Neptune Energy in the Agat formation, a reservoir which until recently was not part of established exploration models on the Norwegian Shelf. The first was at the Duva field, which is now on stream and being operated by Neptune. The second was the company’s discovery at Hamlet, with estimated recoverable volumes between 8-24 mmboe.

Neptune believes that together these discoveries contribute to the opening of a new geological play in Norway and can add additional new volumes to its operated Gjøa facilities in the North Sea.

Neptune Energy is the operator of the licence (40 per cent) and its partners are Wintershall Dea (20 per cent), Aker BP (previously Lundin Energy) (10 per cent), Pandion Energy (20 per cent), and DNO (10 per cent).

The rig is now moving on to drill wildcat well 6608/1-1 S in production licence 1017 in the Norwegian Sea, where PGNiG Upstream Norway is the operator.

Earlier this week, Neptune started an infill drilling campaign at its operated Cygnus gas field in the southern North Sea.