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Up to 120 million bbl discovered near Fram field in North Sea

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Oilfield Technology,

Equinor and partners Vår Energi, Idemitsu Petroleum and Neptune Energy have made the biggest discovery so far this year on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery between 12 and 19 million m3 of recoverable oil equivalent, corresponding to 75-120 million bbl of recoverable oil equivalent.

“The discovery revitalises one of the most mature areas on the NCS. With discoveries in four of four prospects in the Fram area during the past 18 months, we have proven volumes that in total will create considerable value for society,” said Nick Ashton, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway.

Neptune Energy’s managing director in Norway, Odin Estensen, said: “We are proud to be partnering with Equinor on such a significant discovery. Blasto is the first of two exploration wells we will drill in the Fram area this year, and fits with our strategy for exploration close to our existing infrastructure.

"These are important resources which can be brought into production quickly. It’s also a strategically important discovery for Neptune and underlines our commitment to continue growing our business in the Norwegian sector. In the last 15 months, we have participated in five exploration wells, and four of these have resulted in discoveries.”

Exploration wells 31/2-22 S and 31/2-22 A in the Blasto prospect of production licences 090, 090 I and 090 E were drilled about 3 kilometres southwest of the Fram field, 11 km northwest of the Troll field and 120 km northwest of Bergen.

Based on the quality of the resources and the proximity to existing infrastructure the discoveries can be developed and produced in line with Equinor’s climate goals. The company’s ambition is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from operated fields and onshore plants in Norway by 40% by 2030, compared to 2018.

“Equinor is already an industry leader in low-carbon production. The discoveries in the Fram area will help us reach our goal of a further 40% reduction by 2030 while maintaining the current production level,” said Ashton.

Exploration well 31/2-22 S struck a total oil column of around 30 m in the upper part of the Sognefjord formation and an oil column of around 50 m in the lower part of the Sognefjord formation. The oil-water contacts were proven at 1860 and 1960 m respectively.

Exploration well 31/2-22 A struck high-quality sandstone in the Sognefjord formation, but the reservoir is filled with water and the well is classified as dry.

Regarding the discovery to be commercially viable, the licensees will consider tying it to other discoveries and existing infrastructure in the area.

The wells were not formation tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out.

These are the first and second exploration wells in production licence 090 I. The licence was awarded in the 2017 awards in predefined areas (APA 2017) licencing round.

Well 31/2-22 S was drilled to a vertical depth of 2282 m below sea level and a measured depth of 2379 m below sea level. Well 31/2-22 A was drilled to a vertical depth of 2035 m below sea level and a measured depth of 2207 m below sea level.

Water depth in the area is 349 m. The wells have been permanently plugged and abandoned.

The wells were drilled by the West Hercules drilling rig, which is proceeding to drill exploration 34/6-5 S in production licence 554 in the northern North Sea sector.

Read the latest issue of Oilfield Technology in full for free: Oilfield Technology's November/December 2020 issue

The November/December issue of Oilfield Technology begins by reviewing the state of the North Sea before moving on to cover a range of topics, including Drilling Technologies, Deepwater Operations, Flow Control.

Contributors come from Varel Energy Solutions, Gyrodata, Clariant Oil Services, Drillmec and many more.

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