Statoil Petroleum has made an oil discovery northwest of the Norne field in the Norwegian Sea, offshore Norway.
The drilling of the Cape Vulture exploration well started in early December 2016.
The company is now in the process of completing the drilling of wildcat well 6608/10-17 S in its operated production license 128, in a prospect named Cape Vulture. Statoil is the operator of license 128 and 128D with a 64 % share, Petoro holds a 24.5 % share, and Eni a 11.5 % share.
The well was drilled about five kilometers northwest of the Norne field in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea, and about 200 kilometers west of Sandnessjøen.
According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the primary and secondary exploration targets for the well were to prove petroleum in two Cretaceous reservoir levels (Lange formation).
The directorate also informed that the well encountered petroleum at two levels in the Lange formation. In the primary exploration target, the well encountered a total oil column of about 5 meters with an overlying gas column of about 13 meters, of which 3 and 10 meters, respectively, were in sandstone with moderate to good reservoir properties. In the secondary exploration target, the well encountered an approx. 8 meter oil column, of which 5 meters were in sandstone with moderate to good reservoir properties
The licensees will consider further delineation of the discovery with regard to a potential development via the Norne FPSO, the directorate stated.
The well was not formation tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling were carried out.
Statoil said that recoverable reserves are initially estimated at between 20 and 80 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents and plans for further appraisal of the discovery will be made.
“We are satisfied with already completing the well and happy to be able to announce Cape Vulture as a commercial discovery,” says Jez Averty, Statoil senior vice president for exploration in Norway and the UK.
The well is the 27th exploration well in production license 128, which was awarded in licensing round 10-B in 1986.
The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 3248 meters below the sea surface and was terminated in the Spekk formation in the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. It will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. The water depth at the site is 374 meters.
“Norne is already a much greater success than we expected when the field was discovered. It has been the backbone of our ventures in the north from the very beginning and discoveries such Cape Vulture contribute to Norne’s long life, and to maintaining activities in the Norwegian Sea,” says Siri Kindem, Statoil’s senior vice president for Operations North.
The NPD also added that the Deepsea Bergen drilling rig will now proceed to production license 159 B in the Norwegian Sea to drill wildcat well 6507/3-12 where Statoil Petroleum is also the operator.