Statoil’s final well in its 2013-2014 drilling campaign, wildcat well 7227/10-1, has come up dry and is permanently being plugged and abandoned, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
Map from Statoil.
The well is located in the Saturn prospect in production license (PL) 230 in the Barents Sea offshore Norway. It was drilled about 30km southwest of the 7228/7-1 oil and gas discovery and about 210km northeast of Hammerfest.
The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 3095m below the sea surface and 232m water depth using the Transocean Spitsbergen semisubmersible drilling rig, where it was terminated in the Kobbe formation. The well encountered poor reservoir quality in both the Snadd and Kobbe formations.
According to the NPD, this is the first exploration well in production license 230, which was awarded in the Barents Sea project in 1997.
Statoil says this drilling campaign represents an all-time high exploration activity and 10% of all exploration wells drilled in the Barents Sea since its opening in 1980, even though the company has had limited success in this campaign and have made fewer commercial discoveries.
“We have tested a great variety of geological plays in frontier areas and dramatically increased our knowledge with the huge amount of subsurface data we have collected,” says Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil senior VP for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf.
Statoil’s exploration program began with five wells near the Johan Castberg, which were critical to the company to test the oil potential in the area, for the development of the Johan Castberg.
The Transocean Spitsbergen.
Statoil says that the exploration program overall has been very efficient, with special regard to the last seven wells drilled by the Transocean Spitsbergen that were drilled 40% faster than industry average for the Barents Sea, enabling two more wells than originally planned for to be drilled.
“I see our 2013-2014 exploration program as an important building block for the future of Barents Sea exploration,” says Rummelhoff. “Our focus next year will be to analyze the extensive data we have collected, interpret the 3D data from the joint seismic acquisition in the southeastern Barents Sea and decide on the way forward in the Barents Sea. We will also work hard to deliver a strong application in the 23rd concession round.”
Statoil is the operator of PL230 with 35% interest. Partners include Spike Exploration Holding (30%), Explora Petroleum (20%) and GDF Suez E&P Norge (15%).
The next stop for the Transocean Spitsbergen will be to move to the Statoil-operated production license 614, to wildcat well 7324/9-1 in the Barents Sea to cut and pull the wellhead.
In October, Statoil made a gas discovery in the wildcat well 7220/2-1, on the Isfjell prospect, the first well in PL714. The well was drilled in about 429m water depth, also using the Transocean Spitsbergen about 40km northeast of the Johan Castberg and about 260km northwest of Hammerfest.
According to the NPD, the well encountered a gas column of about 85m in the Stø and Nordmela formations with a reservoir quality ranging from very good to excellent. The Snadd formation was found to have more varied reservoir properties, but is an aquifer. Preliminary estimations of the size of the discovery are between 1 and 2 billion standard cu. m of recoverable gas. The well was not formation-tested, but extensive data collection and sampling have been carried out.