Wellesley Petroleum, Partners Make 'Norway's Largest Offshore Discovery since 2013'

Norwegian oil and gas company DNO on Monday announced a significant gas and condensate discovery on the Carmen prospect, claiming it to be the largest discovery offshore Norway since 2013.

Wellesley Petroleum the operator of the offshore license PL1148 in the North Sea, where the discovery was made, with a 50 percent stake. DNO holds a 30 percent interest. Equinor Energy AS and Aker BP ASA own 10 percent each.

"Preliminary evaluation of comprehensive data, including cores and fluid samples, acquired from the discovery well and a follow-on extended sidetrack indicates gross recoverable resources in the range of 120-230 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) on a P90-P10 basis," DNO said.

"At 175 MMboe, the mid-point of this range, Carmen ranks as the largest discovery on the Norwegian Continental Shelf since 2013," DNO said.

Norway is the gift that keeps on giving

DNO said that the two wells at Carmen had established a deeper hydrocarbon-water contact, tripling the mid-point of DNO’s pre-drill expected range.

"Carmen is DNO’s sixth discovery in the Troll-Gjøa area since 2021 and is located close to existing infrastructure with clear routes towards commercialization. The other discoveries are Røver Nord, Kveikje, Ofelia, Røver Sør and Heisenberg," DNO said.

“Norway is the gift that keeps on giving,” said DNO’s Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani. 

Carmen proves there are important discoveries still to be made and Norway’s oldest oil company, DNO, will be part of this next chapter of the country’s oil and gas story,” he added.

DNO farmed into PL1148 in 2022 through its wholly-owned subsidiary DNO Norge AS. 

Wellesley Petroleum in February received consent to drill the 35/10-10 S well at the Carmen prospect in a water depth of 360 meters using the Deepsea Yantai semi-submersible drilling rig. The rig is owned by CIMC Raffles and managed by Odfjell Drilling.

Back in 2022, when it struck the drilling rig deal for Carmen well drilling, Wellesley said that Carmen would be its first operated HP/HT well.

So, what was Norway's largest offshore discovery in 2013?

While DNO said Carmen was Norway's largest offshore discovery since 2013, it stopped short of actually naming Norway's largest offshore discovery made in 2013.

However, Offshore Engineer has managed to find data on the Norwegian Petroleum website, according to which Norway's largest offshore discovery in 2013 was Wisting, made by then-operator OMV, in the Barents Sea. 

OMV, in late 2021, sold its stake in the Wisting project to Lundin Energy. Lundin's oil and gas business was in July 2022 acquired by Aker BP. 

So how big is the Wisting discovery? According to info on Equinor's website, dated February 2022, the Wisting discovery is of "considerable" size, containing close to 500 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Equinor had planned to submit a plan of development and operation (PDO) for the Wisting discovery by the end of 2022, however, it then postponed the filing of the Wisting PDO until 2026, citing "an overall assessment including the impact of global supply chain bottlenecks."

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