Statoil: Johan Castberg fails to deliver oil volume expectations

Statoil ASA and its PL532 partners concluded the 2013-14 Johan Castberg field exploration program by making an oil and gas discovery in the Drivis prospect in the Barents Sea. However, it represented just the second oil discovery in the field, falling beneath Statoil’s volume expectations.

Statoil estimates total volumes in Drivis to be 44-63 million boe recoverable, of which 42-54 million bbl are oil. The discovery will be considered for tie-in to 7220/8-1 Johan Castberg.

Well 7220/7-3 S, 15 km southwest of the 7220/8-1 Johan Castberg discovery and 230 km northwest of Hammerfest, proved a 68-m gross gas column in the Sto formation and an 86-m gross oil column in the Sto and Nordmela formations.

The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2029 m below the sea surface and was terminated in the Fruholmen formation from the Late Triassic. Water depth at the site is 345 m. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.

The West Hercules rig conducted the drilling. It will now move to projects outside the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

Johan Castberg program

This is the seventh exploration well in PL532—the previous one was drilled in February (OGJ Online, Feb. 20, 2014). The license was awarded in the 20th licensing round in 2009 (OGJ Online, May 5, 2009).

Statoil launched a targeted exploration campaign around Johan Castberg in May 2013 to clarify additional oil potential in the area and make the development project more robust.

“Over the past year we have made a significant exploration effort in the Johan Castberg area,” said Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil senior vice-president, exploration, on the NCS. “Five wells have been drilled back-to-back, giving us important subsurface information and a good understanding of the total resource base in the area.

”We are certainly glad to have an oil discovery in Drivis,” said Rummelhoff. “However, the exploration program as a whole has not delivered on volume expectations. Out of the five wells drilled only two have resulted in oil discoveries.” Statoil added that the exploration results constitute an important input to the Johan Castberg field development project.

Statoil is PL532 operator with 50% interest. Partners are Eni Norge AS 30% and Petoro AS 20%.

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