Equinor’s Sputnik oil discovery in the Barents Sea might still be commercial despite being small and remote, Wood Mackenzie said Tuesday.
As reported earlier, Equinor on Tuesday morning announced the Sputnik discovery with recoverable resources preliminarily estimated at 20-65 million barrels of oil.
The well sits 30 kilometers northeast of the Wisting oil discovery where Equinor has recently agreed to assume the role as the operator in the development phase, with OMV as the operator in the operating phase.
Commenting on the Sputnik discovery and the development options, Jamie Thompson, an analyst with Wood Mackenzie’s North Sea upstream team, said: “Despite being small and remote – it lies more than 300 kilometers from shore in the northern Hoop area in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea – Sputnik has a high chance of commerciality.
“The aptly-named field could be a satellite of the pre-FID 440 million-barrel Wisting development, which is just 30 kilometers from Sputnik.
“We expect Wisting to reach FID in 2022, with first oil in 2026. If it progresses to plan, Sputnik could start-up towards the end of the decade when Wisting comes off plateau.”
He said: “The potential commerciality of Sputnik provides a much-needed boost to Barents exploration and highlights the importance of developing new infrastructure in this emerging basin.”
“Equinor (55%, operator) and partners OMV (25%) and Petoro (20%) will be encouraged by proving further oil in an area where they hold strong acreage positions.”
According to Wood Mackenzie, Equinor’s Mist, near Johan Castberg, is the only other exploration well expected to spud in the Barents in 2019. But high-potential wells are planned in the Hoop and southeast in 2020.
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