Statoil is not giving up on Barents Sea exploration and plans to drill six wells in the area next year. This is interesting given the fact the company’s multi-well campaign in 2017 fell short of expectations.
In the 2017 season, the Norwegian company explored five licenses in the Barents Sea, hoping to strike a large oil discovery.
It struck some oil at its Kayak and Gemini north wells, and non-commercial gas quantities at the other wells, however none of this was enough to warrant a standalone field development. Statoil’s last well in the campaign – the Koigen – came up dry.
However, according to Reuters, the 2017 Barents Sea drilling has not discouraged Statoil from giving it further push in the Barents Sea.
The news agency cited Tim Dodson, Statoil’s head of exploration who said that the company would drill between 25 and 30 well in Norway next year, five or six of which would be in the Barents Sea, affirming company’s belief in the area’s oil potential.
Offshore Energy Today also reached out to Statoil seeking further comment. A spokesperson for the company confirmed Dodson’s remarks given to Reuters.
The spokesperson said the current plan for 2018 in the Barents Sea is five wells as operator and one well as partner.
One swallow doesn’t make spring
Dodson’s remarks are in line with comments given late August by Jez Averty, Statoil’s head of exploration in Norway and the UK, who said that despite disappointing drilling results it would be too early to draw any final conclusions.
Commenting in August on the Korpfjell well results, where Statoil found non-commercial gas reserves, Averty said: “It is important to remember that you rarely succeed on the first try in a frontier area. Thirty-three wells were drilled before the first commercial discovery was made in the Norwegian section of the North Sea.”
He said: “Even if we have learned a lot since 1969, we do not expect the first exploration well to give all the answers. We need further exploration to find out what this implies for the total resource potential of the Barents Sea southeast area.”
Korpfjell was the fourth well in Statoil’s 2017 exploration campaign in the Barents Sea, where the Kayak oil discovery was announced on 3 July, the Blåmann gas discovery on 17 July and Gemini North on 7 August. The drilling campaign was carried out by the Songa Enabler semi-submersible drilling rig.
The campaign ended with the fifth well at the Koigen prospect coming up dry.