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Barents Sea Korpfjell disappoints

By  OE Staff Tuesday, 29 August 2017 07:57

Statoil has said it has made a small, but non-commercial gas discovery in its much anticipated Korpfjell well in the Barents Sea.

The well is the first exploration well drilled in the Norwegian section of a formerly disputed area between Norway and Russia. Statoil had described the relatively low-cost well, due to its shallow horizon, as high-risk, high-reward. Partner Lundin had said the structure could be four times the size of the giant Johan Sverdrup field.

“We have all the time pointed out the high level of geological uncertainty related to Korpfjell. The main question was whether we would find anything at all – and if we did, would it hold gas or oil,” says Jez Averty, Statoil’s head of exploration in Norway and the UK.

The main purpose of the well was to prove whether there was any oil in the large geological structure on Korpfjell. Statoil says drilling has only proven small gas volumes in the well's main target, at about 40-75 MMboe, which is says isn't enough for a commercial development. Statoil and its licence partners will now start analysing the well data acquired.

“The results are of course disappointing, but it is too early to draw any conclusions on how this will impact the Barents Sea southeast area,” says Averty. “It is important to remember that you rarely succeed on the first try in a frontier area. Thirty-three wells were drilled before the first commercial discovery was made in the Norwegian section of the North Sea."

Statoil is planning both operated wells and participation in partner-operated wells in the Barents Sea southeast area in 2018. These plans include drilling the second commitment well in the Korpfjell licence PL 859.

“Despite an exciting discovery in Kayak and traces of oil in Gemini North, we have so far not had a direct hit that may result in a new standalone field development. The campaign has however provided important clarifications and new information about the resource potential in the Barents Sea,” concludes Averty.

Korpfjell is the fourth well in Statoil’s 2017 exploration campaign in the Barents Sea, where the Kayak oil discovery was announced on 3 July, the Blåmann gas discovery on 17 July and Gemini North on 7 August.

Korpfjell was drilled by using the Songa Enabler semisubmersible drilling rig, which will move to the Koigen Central prospect in license PL718 in the western part of the Barents Sea when the Korpfjell well has been permanently plugged and abandoned.

Partners in Korpfjell (license PL859) are Statoil (operator) with 30%, Chevron (20%), Petoro (20%), Lundin Norway (15%) and ConocoPhillips (15%).

Image: Songa Enabler, right. Image from Songa Offshore.

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2018-09-24 02:41:14am