Aker BP makes minor gas discovery in Barents Sea

Norwegian oil and gas company Aker BP has made a minor gas discovery in the Barents Sea but the discovery is not considered to be commercial.

The discovery was made through a wildcat well 7221/12-1, which is located in production license 659 where Aker BP is the operator.

The well was drilled about 20 km west of the 7222/11-2 discovery well (Langlitinden) in the Barents Sea and about 175 km northwest of Hammerfest, in a prospect named Svanefjell. This was Aker BP’s first exploration drilling in the Barents Sea in four years.

The company received both consent to drill the well with the Deepsea Stavanger rig and a drilling permit in April.

The objective of the well was to prove petroleum in Upper Triassic reservoir rocks (in the upper part of the Snadd formation).

According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s report on Wednesday, the well 7221/12-1 encountered a total gas column of about 20 meters in the upper part of the Snadd formation, of which a total of 7 meters of sandstone layers with good to moderate reservoir quality.

The gas-water contact was encountered about 555 meters below the sea surface. Preliminary results from gas samples indicate that the gas may be in the gas-hydrate phase. Attempts will be made to clarify this through further analysis. If there is free gas in the reservoir, the preliminary estimate is that the size of the discovery is between 2-3.5 billion standard cubic meters of recoverable gas, the NPD said.

Commenting on the discovery, SVP Exploration in Aker BP, Gro Gunleiksrud Haatvedt said: “Per today it is not considered to be commercial, but we will re-evaluate the volume and commerciality if it is concluded that the gas is in gas hydrate phase.”

The well was not formation-tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out.

This is the second exploration well in production license 659, which was awarded in APA 2011.

The well 7221/12-1 was drilled to a vertical depth of 700 meters below the sea surface, and was terminated in the Snadd formation in the Upper Triassic. Water depth at the site is 346 meters. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.

The well was drilled by Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible drilling rig, which will now drill appraisal well 25/4-12 S in production license 203 in the North Sea, where Aker BP is also the operator.

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