The results of an exploration extension drilled by StatoilHydro to well 35/11-B23-H in the Fram area of the North Sea indicate that a valuable discovery has been made.
This could be quickly phased in via fixed installations in the Troll and Fram areas. The well is about 10 kilometres north of the northern flank of the Troll West oil province.
Made in block 35/11 in production licence 090 in the eastern part of the Fram field, the discovery could extend into PL090D in block 35/12.
The well was drilled from Bideford Dolphin as part of a combined design which includes an exploration target as well as a horizontal producer in a previously proven Fram East reservoir.
"This type of combined well has become an important part of our exploration strategy in parts of the Norwegian continental shelf with existing infrastructure," says Tom Dreyer, vice president for infrastructure-led exploration North Sea.
The extension of drilling into the exploration target also functions as a commitment well for PL090D, handed out as part of the 2005 awards in predefined areas (APA).
This C East discovery contains both oil and gas, but crude accounts for the bulk of the volume.
Resources in place are expected to total some 100 million barrels of oil equivalent. That could yield recoverable reserves of 20-40 million boe, depending on such considerations as the recovery factor and reservoir thickness.
StatoilHydro has already proven oil and gas resources during recent years in the Astero and H North discoveries in the same part of the NCS.
Exploration in the Fram area ¬- PL090 - has so far proven resources in place totalling more than 600 million boe. Oil accounts for three-quarters of this total.
Studies will now be launched to see whether the C East discovery can be brought on stream quickly, perhaps through a tie-back to installations such as Fram East or Troll C.
The licensees in PL090 and PL090D are StatoilHydro (operator) with 45%, Gaz de France with 15%, Idemitsu Petroleum with 15% and ExxonMobil with 25%.