Statoil disappointed with Barents Sea drilling campaign
Norway’s Statoil has together with its partner Idemitsu Petroleum Norge made a small gas discovery in the Mercury prospect in PL614 in the Barents Sea. This completes Statoil’s 2014 exploration programme in the Hoop area.
This summer Statoil drilled three exploration wells in the Hoop area in the Barents Sea: Apollo and Atlantis in PL615 and Mercury in PL614. Those were Statoil’s first operated wells in the Hoop area. Statoil is partner in the OMV-operated oil discoveries Wisting Central and Hanssen in the neighbour licence PL537, which opened a new oil play in the Hoop area.
The company said that ,”unfortunately, the three Statoil-operated wells drilled this summer did not result in commercial discoveries.”
In Apollo a good reservoir was proved in the well, but no hydrocarbons. Atlantis and Mercury resulted in two small gas discoveries.
“We are naturally disappointed with the results of this summer’s drilling campaign in the Hoop area,” says Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil senior vice president for exploration on the Norway continental shelf.
“However, it is important to understand that Hoop is a frontier area of more than 15,000 square kilometres with only six wells completed to date, so we do not have all the answers about the subsurface yet. Non-commercial discoveries and dry wells are part of the game in frontier exploration. They provide important knowledge about the area.”
Statoil says it has designed the Hoop exploration campaign to maximise the area knowledge. The prospects selected for the campaign tested different play models in varied geological settings and at different depths.
“We will now analyse the data we have acquired in the wells and incorporate it in our subsurface models,” says Rummelhoff. “We have confirmed a working petroleum system in Hoop, but need to work further to understand the migration and where the oil has accumulated. We know from experience that exploring for hydrocarbons in the Barents Sea takes time and stamina.”
Statoil Petroleum AS, operator of production licence 614, has concluded drilling of wildcat well 7324/9-1 (Mercury), which proved gas.
The well was drilled approximately 20 kilometres southeast of the 7324/8-1(Wisting) discovery in the Barents Sea and 300 kilometres north of Hammerfest.
The well’s primary exploration target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Middle Jurassic to Late Triassic Age (Realgrunn sub-group). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Late Triassic Age (the Snadd formation).
Well 7324/9-1 encountered about ten metres of gas-filled reservoir rocks in the Stø formation in the Realgrunn sub-group with good reservoir quality. About 50 metres of net reservoir rocks were encountered in the Snadd formation; they were generally of poor reservoir quality, with a few zones with good reservoir quality.
Preliminary calculations of the size of the discovery are between 1 and 2 billion standard cubic metres (Sm3) of recoverable gas. Data collection and sampling have been carried out.
The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 1060 metres below the sea surface, and was terminated in the Snadd formation. Water depth is 414 metres. The well has now been permanently plugged and abandoned.
This is the first exploration well in production licence 614, which was awarded in the 21st licencing round in 2011.
Well 7324/9-1 was drilled by the Transocean Spitsbergen drilling rig, which will move on to drill wildcat well 7125/4-3 in production licence 393 B, which is also operated by Statoil Petroleum AS.