RWE Dea Norge has started drilling the Atlas exploration well in production license 420 after approval from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
Atlas, also known as well 35/9-12 S, is located in the North Sea approximately 45km off Norway, southwest of Statoil's Gjøa field. It will be the fourth well drilled on the license, which covers part of Block 25/9. Water depth at the site is 358m.
Ocean Rig’s deepwater semisubmersible Leiv Eiriksson will drill Atlas after receiving approval on 16 July 2014. RWE Dea said in a statement that operations are expected to take about 61 days.
This license was awarded on 16 February 2007 (APA 2006), with oil, gas and condensate discovery well 35/9-6 S proving hydrocarbons in Jurassic reservoir rocks in 2010. Appraisal was competed on 27 May 2014 with wells 35/9-11 S and sidetrack 35/9-11 A, drilled less than 2km away from the discovery well. Wells 35/9-11 S and 35/9-11 A were drilled by Leiv Eiriksson to vertical depths of 3733 and 3795m, respectively, terminating in the Lower Jurassic.
During appraisal drilling, the two wells encountered oil in the Heather formation, Brent group, Drake formation and top part of the Cook formation and Statfjord group in Jurassic reservoir rocks, which RWE Dea said had different pressure regimes. Formation water was encountered in the lower part of the Cook formation, but that was the only instance.
RWE Dea already has a discovery on that license, in the Titan prospect, announcing in May that the appraisal well proved a 435m hydrocarbon column in Heather formation, Brent group, Drake formation, and Cook formation. However, the NPD said in its delineation of wells 35/9-11 S and 35/9-11 A that "the reservoir quality in the Heather, Tarbert, Etive, Cook formations and Statfjord group is poor."
RWE Dea Norge operates PL420 with 30%. Statoil (40%) and Idemitsu Petroleum Norge (30%) are its partners.
Image of the Leiv Eiriksson semisubmersible.