Barents gas disappoints Statoil

February 20, 2014

Statoil has made a small gas discovery in the Kramsnø prospect in production license 532, near to the Johan Castberg oil field, in the Barents Sea.

The discovery is the fourth well in a five-well drilling campaign targeting oil in PL532. The campaign was launched to clarify oil potential in the area, in order to make the delayed Johan Castberg oil development more robust (concept pictured), said Statoil. 

Last year, Statoil delayed an investment decision on Johan Castberg, citing uncertainties around the resource base, development plans, and a proposed increase in taxation by the Norwegian government. 

“Unfortunately, out of the four wells drilled to date only one has resulted in an oil discovery,” says Irene Rummelhoff, senior vice president exploration Norway. “The last prospect we will test in this exploration campaign is Drivis, and we will commence drilling operations right after the completion of Kramsnø.” 

Johan Castberg comprises the Skrugard and Havis discoveries, made in 2011-12, and totaling 400-600MM bbl recoverable. 

The wildcat Kramsnø well, 7220/4-1, was drilled about 11km northwest of the 7220/8-1 Johan Castberg discovery well. 

Its primary exploration target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Middle and Early Jurassic (Stø, Nordmela and Tubåen formations). A secondary target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Late Triassic (Snadd formation).

The well encountered a 130m gas column in the Stø and Nordmela formations, with poorer reservoir quality than expected. In the Snadd formation, the well encountered a 45m tall gas column. Statoil said preliminary estimates put recoverable gas at 2-4Billion cu m. 

The well was drilled by the West Hercules semisubmersible drilling rig, which will now move to drill wildcat well 7220/7-3 S, on another prospect in the same production license.

“The exploration campaign is serving its purpose of maximizing our knowledge of the area, but has not provided the additional resources we hoped for,” says Erik Strand Tellefsen, vice president field development northern Norway. “This makes it even more important to improve the development concept and reduce investments.”

Statoil is operator on PL532 with 50% working interest (WI). The license partners are Eni Norge AS (30% WI) and Petoro AS (20% WI). 



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