Statoil Barents wildcat finds noncommercial gas

A group led by Statoil ASA has made a small gas discovery at the Nunatak prospect on the PL 532 in the Barents Sea offshore Norway.

Well 7220/5-2 encountered gas in rocks of Cretaceous age that based on the present evaluation is considered noncommercial.

Nunatak was the first of four prospects to be drilled in the Johan Castberg area in 2013 with the aim of proving additional volumes for the Johan Castberg field development project. Statoil’s partners are Eni Norge AS and Petoro AS.

Statoil noted that Nunatak had the highest geological risk of the four prospects, but it was important to test first due to location 5 km north of the Skrugard discovery.

Nunatak forms an independent structure in a younger geological formation than Skrugard, which it partly overlies, and the well’s results have no implications for expectations of the other three planned wells, said Gro G. Haatvedt, Statoil senior vice-president exploration Norway.

“Whilst it is disappointing to find only gas in Nunatak, we believe in further oil potential in the Johan Castberg area,” Haatvedt concluded.

The West Hercules semisubmersible will move to drill the 7219/8-2 well on the Iskrystall prospect on the neighboring PL608 license. Iskrystall is a prospect in the early-middle Jurassic play proven by the Skrugard and Havis discoveries but at much greater depth.

Statoil is operator with 50% interest in PL532, Eni Norge has 30%, and Petoro has 20%.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate noted that the 7220/5-2 well, 200 km northwest of Soroya, had the objectives of proving petroleum in Cretaceous reservoir rocks of the Knurr formation as well as acquire information for the planned Johan Castberg field development.

Reservoir quality is poorer than expected in the Knurr formation that contains the gas, but further analysis will be carried out to clarify the resource potential. Extensive data acquisition and sampling were carried out, but the well was not formation tested.

The 7220/5-2 well is the fourth exploratory penetration on PL532, awarded in the 20th license round in 2009.

The well was drilled to 1,765 m true vertical depth below the sea surface in 398 m of water and terminated in the Tubaen formation in Early Jurassic.

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