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Statoil makes oil and gas discovery in the Barents Sea

Oilfield Technology,

Operator Statoil has together with PL532 partners made an oil and gas discovery in the Drivis prospect in the Barents Sea. This concludes the 2013/2014 exploration programme around the Johan Castberg field.
Statoil estimates the total volumes in Drivis to be in the range of 44 - 63 million boe, out of which 42 - 54 million bbls of oil.

Targeted exploration campaign

In May 2013 Statoil launched a targeted exploration campaign around the Johan Castberg field in order to clarify additional oil potential in the area and make the development project more robust.
The exploration campaign comprised five wells and has lasted for 12 months. Drivis was the last well of this drilling campaign in the Johan Castberg area.

The well has been drilled in the Barents Sea, about 15 km southwest of the 7220/8-1 Johan Castberg discovery and 230 km northwest of Hammerfest.

The well's primary exploration target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Middle and Early Jurassic Age (the Stø and Nordmela formations). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Late Triassic Age (the Fruholmen formation).

Exploration results

The well encountered a 68 m gross gas column in the Stø formation and an 86 m gross oil column in the Stø and Nordmela formations. The reservoir quality in the Stø formation is very good. The reservoir quality in the Nordmela formation is variable, but about half of the oil zone was encountered in sandstone with very good reservoir quality. The Fruholmen formation has poor reservoir properties, and is aquiferous.

Preliminary calculations of the size of the discovery are between 7 - 10 million m3 of recoverable oil equivalents.

The well was not formation tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out. The discovery will be considered for tie-in to 7220/8-1 Johan Castberg.

This is the seventh exploration well in production licence 532. The license was awarded in the 20th licensing round in 2009.

The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2029 m below the sea surface and was terminated in the Fruholmen formation from the Late Triassic. Water depth at the site is 345 m. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.

Well 7220/7-3 S was drilled by the West Hercules drilling facility, which will move on to assignments outside the Norwegian shelf.

Statoil’s exploration effort in the Johan Castberg area

“Over the past year we have made a significant exploration effort in the Johan Castberg area. Five wells have been drilled back-to-back, giving us important subsurface information and a good understanding of the total resource base in the area”, says Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil Senior Vice President for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf.

“We will now work closely with our licence partners to analyse the findings of the exploration programme and what those mean for the Johan Castberg development project,” says Erik Strand Tellefsen, Statoil Vice President for field development northern Norway.

Statoil is operator for production licence PL532 with an ownership share of 50%. The licence partners are Eni Norge AS (30%) and Petoro AS (20%).

Edited from various sources by Cecilia Rehn

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