Wintershall bites dust in Barents Sea well

  • Exploration & Production

German oil and gas company Wintershall has failed to find hydrocarbons in its Kvalross exploration well located in the Barents Sea, offshore Norway. 

According to Faroe Petroleum, an independent oil and gas company and a partner in the project with 40% stake, the drilling has reached target depth on the Wintershall-operated Kvalross well.

The Kvalross exploration well 7224/2-1 was spudded on January 11, 2016 and reached a total vertical depth of 2,917 metres in the Lower Triassic Havert formation. The well aimed to test two independent targets: the Kvalross prospect within the Lower Triassic Klappmyss formation; and the Kvaltann prospect within a Mid-Late Triassic Snadd formation channel.

Faroe stated that good quality sands were encountered in the Kvaltann prospect, but were found to be water wet. In the main Kvalross target hydrocarbon shows were observed, but not in good quality reservoirs. No commercial discovery has been made, Faroe said.

The Kvalross exploration well was operated by Wintershall using the Transocean Artic drilling rig and is now being plugged and abandoned as planned. Faroe noted that the duration of the well was expected to be approximately 60 days, compared to the dry hole timing budget of 83 days, and hence was expected to be delivered significantly below budget.

Licence PL611 was awarded to Faroe together with co-venturers Wintershall Norge (40% and operator) and Petoro AS (20%) in May 2011 in the Norwegian 21st Licensing Round.

Graham Stewart, Chief Executive of Faroe Petroleum commented: “Whilst the results for the Barents Sea Kvalross well are disappointing, we are pleased that the well has been drilled significantly below budget and to have encountered hydrocarbon shows which will add to the large data bank we now hold over this prospective frontier area. We look forward now to the next two exploration wells in our programme. The near-field Brasse well in the Norwegian North Sea and the Njord North Flank well in the Norwegian Sea are scheduled to be drilled in the summer and second half of 2016 respectively. 

“Faroe has built a strong portfolio position in Norway, where exploration benefits materially from tax rebates provided by the state to support and encourage exploration in the country. 

“In the meantime Faroe’s strong balance sheet means we are well prepared to weather the continuing period of low commodity prices, and are seeking to capitalise on our position to pursue consolidation opportunities in our core areas on the UK and Norwegian continental shelves.” 

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