Statoil confirmed its second discovery in the Aasta Hansteen area with the Roald Rygg prospect in the Norwegian Sea.
Map of Roald Rygg. From Statoil.
The gas discovery was made at well 6706/12-3 in production license 602 (PL602) where a proved 38m gas column was found in the Nise Formation, of which 30m in sandstone of extremely good reservoir quality was made.
Roald Rygg is located less than 7km west of the Snefrid Nord discovery, made last month, with an estimated 31-57 MMboe. Statoil and its PL602 partners estimate the Roald Rygg volumes to be in the range of 12-44 MMboe. Estimated total volumes in the two discoveries attribute to about 25% of the Aasta Hansteen recoverable volumes.
According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the objective of the well was to prove petroleum in Upper Cretaceous reservoir rocks, with a primary exploration target in the Nise formation and a secondary exploration target in the Kvitnos formation. The well encountered aquiferous sandstone in the Kvitnos Formation, with 35m of good reservoir quality. Preliminary estimates of the size of the discovery are between 2-7 Bcm of recoverable gas.
Drilling with the Transocean Spitsbergen began at the well on 23 March. Operations were terminated in the Kvitnos formation in the Upper Cretaceous and the well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.
“Statoil has completed a targeted two-well exploration program around Aasta Hansteen, which aimed to test additional potential in the area and make the Aasta Hansteen project more robust,” says Irene Rummelhoff, senior VP exploration Norway in Statoil. “Both wells, Snefrid Nord and Roald Rygg, have resulted in interesting discoveries, which will now be further evaluated for future tie-in to the Aasta Hansteen infrastructure.”
The Transocean Spitsbergen. From Transocean.
Aasta Hansteen will be the largest SPAR platform in the world and is the Norwegian Sea's biggest ongoing field development project. The spar will be the first deepwater floating production platform (+1000m) installed in the harsh environment north of the Arctic Circle utilizing steel catenary risers. Production start-up is expected in 2017.
In March, Statoil’s Snefrid Nord consisted of a 105m gas and 4m oil discovery found in the Nise Formation. At that time, the company said the discovery increased the Aasta Hansteen resource base by approximately 15%.
Snefrid Nord is located in production license 218, in the deepwater Vøring area, close to the three gas discoveries that comprise the Aasta Hansteen field development: Luva, Haklang and Snefrid South.
Just a few days later, Statoil began the first stage of the Polarled installation project with the Solitaire pipelaying vessel in the Norwegian Sea. The 482km-long Polarled pipeline is the first pipeline to take the Norwegian gas infrastructure across the Arctic Circle and will transport up to 70 MMcum/d of gas from the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea to the Shell-operated Nyhamna processing plant in western Norway.
In February, Statoil upped its stake in PL602, taking 10% from Rocksource and 2.5% from Atlantic Petroleum Norge.
Subject to government approval, the PL602 partnership will consist of Statoil Petroleum AS (operator, 42.5%), Petoro AS (20%), Centrica Resources (Norge) AS (20%), Wintershall Norge AS (10%) and Atlantic Petroleum Norge AS (7.5%).