Statoil doubles estimate of Aldous discovery

Norway's Statoil said part of its newly discovered Aldous Major South field in the North Sea is twice as large as first thought, raising its estimate as much as 3.3 billion boe (OGJ Online, Sept. 22, 2011).

"Aldous-Avaldsnes is a giant, and one of the largest finds ever on the Norwegian continental shelf," said Tim Dodson, Statoil executive vice-president, exploration. "Volume estimates have now increased further because the appraisal well confirms a continuous, very good and thick reservoir in Aldous Major South," he said.

The estimates were based on a recovery rate of 50-60%, said Dodson who added that “a recovery rate of 70-75% could be possible” due to the high quality of the reservoir and the fact it was located in shallow water.

"This is a world class reservoir…when it reaches the refineries the oil will be characterized as belonging in the Champagne league," said Dodson, whose view was shared by other observers.

"It's a fantastic find for Norway," said Lennert Koch, analyst at oil consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. "I think this is quite an exceptional case. We're talking about potentially the third biggest discovery in Norway ever."

The Norwegian firm said that results of appraisal well 16/2-10 “have increased production license PL265 estimates to between 900 million and 1.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.”

This is a doubling of the previously announced PL265 volumes of 400-800 million boe.

“It has previously been confirmed that there is communication between Aldous in PL265 and Avaldsnes in PL501, and that this is one large oil discovery,” Statoil said.

Final data show that the oil column in appraisal well 16/2-10 is 60 m and that the reservoir is of the same quality as in the Aldous Major South discovery well 16/2-8.

“This is the main reason for the substantial upward revision of PL265 volumes,” the Norwegian firm said.

The Aldous-Avaldsnes discovery extends over an area of 180 km, said Statoil, noting that there is “considerable variation in both reservoir thickness and oil column height in the structure.”

Statoil said additional appraisal wells will be drilled in both licenses, and that it will await the results from these wells before providing updated and more accurate volume estimates for the combined discovery.

After completion of the appraisal well, the Transocean Leader drilling rig will move to the Troll field in the North Sea.

Aldous Major South is situated in production license PL265 in the North Sea, and appraisal well 16/2-10 was drilled 4.2 km north of the 16/2-8 discovery well.

Earlier this month, a group led by Statoil confirmed a northern extension of the Aldous Major South structure in the North Sea off Norway.

The 16/2-10 appraisal well proved a 50-55 m oil column in Jurassic sandstone, further confirming Statoil’s preliminary figure of 400-800 million bbl of oil equivalent recoverable on the structure in PL 265.

Statoil is the operator and has a 40% interest in PL 265. The partners are Petoro AS 30%, DNO ASA 20% and Lundin Norway AS 10%.

Avaldsnes lies on production license PL 501. Lundin Norway AS is the operator with a 40% interest; Statoil has 40% and Maersk has 20%.

Contact Eric Watkins at's Statoil said part of its newly discovered Aldous Major South field in the North Sea is twice as large as first thought, raising its estimate as much as 3.3 billion boe (OGJ Online, Sept. 22, 2011).

Contact Eric Watkins at

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