An oil discovery has been made by StatoilHydro due south-west of the Grane field in the North Sea. The size of the find is estimated to be in the order of 20 - 30 million recoverable barrels of oil.
"The find is a continuation of the good start to exploration activities on the Norwegian continental shelf in 2008," says Tim Dodson, director of exploration in Exploration and production Norway.
"This find is the fourth discover we have been involved in so far this year," he says.
StatoilHydro has previously reported a discovery in the Fram area of the North Sea and Gamma at Haltenbanken. Additionally, a discovery was made at Marulk on Haltenbanken where ENI Norway is the operator and StatoilHydro has a 50 per cent ownership stake.
The discovery at Grane was made in connection with the production licence PL169 for which StatoilHydro is operator, and is named M prospect. Exploration well 25/11-25 S was drilled down to reservoir rock types of Paleogenic age, and drilling has been concluded.
The well is the thirteenth exploration well in production licence 169. The licence was awarded in the thirteenth concessionary round in 1991.
The discovery in the M prospect is interesting and may be relevant for further investigation when seen in the context of other discoveries in the area.
The well was not formation strength-tested, but comprehensive data collection and testing has been carried out. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 1804 metres below the sea surface. The sea depth is 125 metres. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.
Well 25/11-25 S was drilled by the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner, which will now drill exploration well 25/11-25 A as a lateral branch well, to prove the presence of petroleum in a nearby prospect in the same production licence.
Licencees in production licence PL169: StatoilHydro (operator) (57 percent), Petoro (30) and ExxonMobil (13).