Equinor's Black Vulture Appraisal Well Disappoints

September 28, 2021

The West Hercules drilling rig in the Barents Sea. (Photos: Ole Jørgen Bratland)
The West Hercules drilling rig in the Barents Sea. (Photos: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor has concluded the drilling of the Black Vulture appraisal well in the Norwegian Sea, and the well came up dry.

Using Seadrill's West Hercules offshore drilling rig, Equinor drilled the well approximately 15 kilometres southwest of the Norne field in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea, and 200 kilometers west of Sandnessjøen.

The 6507/3-13 [Black Vulture] oil and gas discovery was proven in 2019 in reservoir rocks from the Early Cretaceous (oil and gas in the Lange Formation) and the Late Cretaceous (gas in the Lysing Formation).

The objective of well 6507/3-14 was to delineate the discovery in the Lange Formation, and further to evaluate the reservoir’s properties.

Before well 6507/3-14 was drilled, the resource estimate for the discovery in the Lange Formation was between 0.4 and 4.4 million standard cubic metres (Sm3) of recoverable oil equivalents.

The well encountered the Lange Formation, about 45 metres thick, of which a total of 24 metres was sandstone layers with moderate reservoir properties.  Weak traces of petroleum were encountered. The well is classified as dry.

"It is too early to provide an updated resource estimate for the discovery, but the appraisal well is expected to yield a reduced estimate," the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said.

The appraisal well drilled to a vertical depth of 3384 meters below sea level, and was terminated in the Lyr Formation from the Early Cretaceous. The water depth at the site is 368 meters. The well will be permanently plugged and abandoned.

The West Hercules semi-submersible drilling rig will now move to drill wildcat well 6407/1-9 in production licence 939 in the Norwegian Sea, where Equinor is the operator.



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