No profit from Wintershall Dea’s minor oil discovery in Norwegian Sea

German oil and gas company Wintershall Dea has concluded the drilling of a wildcat well located in the Norwegian Sea. The discovery is not considered to be profitable.

The West Hercules drilling rig in the Barents Sea. (Photo Equinor Ole Jørgen Bratland)

The wildcat well 6611/1-1 is located in production license 896, where Wintershall Dea is the operator.

The well was drilled in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea, about 150 kilometers northeast of the Norne field and about 150 kilometers southwest of Bodø.

Wintershall Dea received consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to use the West Hercules rig for exploration drilling in block 66/11 in the Norwegian Sea back in July 2019.

The company was granted a drilling permit by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) for this wildcat well in September 2019.

The NPD said on Tuesday that the objective of the well was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Early Jurassic Age (the Tilje and Åre Formations).

The well encountered about seven meters of oil-bearing sandstone in the upper part of the assumed Jurassic sequence. The sandstone, which has not yet been dated, has moderate to good reservoir quality.

The well encountered a total of about 200 meters of sandstones in what are thought to be the exploration targets in the Tilje and Åre Formations, with moderate to good reservoir quality. The sandstones are water-bearing.

Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery at less than 1 million standard cubic meters (Sm3) of recoverable oil. The discovery is not considered to be profitable.

The well was not formation tested, but data has been collected and samples have been taken. It was drilled to a vertical depth of 1874 meters below sea level, and it was terminated in rocks from the Triassic Age.

This is the first exploration well in production license 896, which was awarded in APA 2016. The water depth at the site is 357 meters.

The well, drilled by the West Hercules drilling rig, has now been permanently plugged and abandoned.

The rig will now drill well 31/5-7 in exploitation license 001 where Equinor is the operator.


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