The presence of a considerable oil column has been confirmed under the Dagny structure in the North Sea. Gas has been proven in the deep-water Snefrid South prospect near the Luva discovery in the Norwegian Sea.
"Our exploration activity this year is very high, both on the NCS and internationally. The new discoveries illustrate the scope of our exploration efforts, which include both known and immature provinces," says chief executive Helge Lund.
"The oil discovery at Sleipner represents a highlight in this year's exploration programme on the NCS, and it is encouraging that we now at the start of the big ONS event in Stavanger may demonstrate that new ideas prove successful in a part of the North Sea that has been explored since the 1960s," Lund says.
100-125 million barrels oil equivalents
The purpose of well 15/5-7 in production licence 048 was to confirm the presence of oil in Mid-Jurassic reservoir rocks below the Dagny gas discovery. The well confirmed an oil column of some 100 metres in the Hugin formation.
The total recoverable volume is estimated at 100-125 million barrels of oil equivalent.
"This is a very exciting discovery. The Sleipner area is still very prospective, and this well confirms that there is also a good chance of making oil discoveries in this area," says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for StatoilHydro's explorations on the Norwegian continental shelf.
"The discovery is a result of focused efforts to find more hydrocarbons that may be phased in to Sleipner. I will credit my exploration organisation for coming up with the idea that there might be an oil column below the gas at Dagny, which was discovered 30 years ago," he says.
The Dagny discovery is located some 10 kilometres north-west of Sleipner West. Development of the discovery in association with the Sleipner field will be considered.
Drilled in 119 metres of water by the Transocean Winner drilling rig the well was completed in the Upper Triassic Skagerrak formation, 4,037 metres below the sea level. A side-track is now being considered in order to establish the oil-water contact. The costs of the well are split between PL048 and PL029.
StatoilHydro (the operator) has an interest of 78.2 percent in PL048, whereas the partner, Total, has an interest of 21.8 percent. ExxonMobil is the operator of PL029 (100 percent).
Deep-water gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea
Also exploration well 6706/12-1 in production licence PL218 in the Norwegian Sea was successful. The well is located west of the Luva gas discovery, some 290 kilometres west of Sandnessjøen.
The purpose of the well was to confirm the existence of petroleum in Late Cretaceous reservoir rocks in a prospect named Snefrid South.
The well confirmed the existence of a 70-metre gas column with good reservoir qualities in the Nise formation. Core drilling was performed, and fluid and pressure samples were collected.
The discovery is estimated to contain some 4 billion standard cubic metres of recoverable gas.
"I am pleased that the result met with our expectations and that dry gas was confirmed in a reservoir with good reservoir qualities," Dodson says.
Snefrid will be developed in combination with the Luva discovery. Dodson emphasises that the drilling of the exploration well in the Snefrid South prospect is an important step in order to accelerate the development of the Luva discovery, which was made by BP in 1997.
The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 3925 metres below the sea level and completed in the lower parts of the Nise formation in 1265 metres of water. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.
Well 6706/12-1 was drilled by the Transocean Leader drilling rig, which will now drill exploration well 6707/10-2 S in the same production licence.
StatoilHydro (operator) has an interest of 75 percent in PL 218. The partners are ExxonMobil (15 percent) and ConocoPhillips (10 percent).