Gas discovery ups resource base for Aasta Hansteen development

Discovery well 6706/12-2, drilled by Transocean Ltd.’s Spitsbergen drilling rig for operator Statoil ASA, proved a 105-m gas column in the Nise formation of the Snefrid Nord prospect in the Norwegian Sea.

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Discovery well 6706/12-2, drilled by Transocean Ltd.’s Spitsbergen drilling rig for operator Statoil ASA, proved a 105-m gas column in the Nise formation of the Snefrid Nord prospect in the Norwegian Sea.

The Snefrid Nord discovery, drilled to a vertical depth of 2,714 m in 1,312 m of water, is in the Voring area nearby the Luva, Haklang, and Snefrid South discoveries comprising Aasta Hansteen field development.

Statoil estimates the volumes in Snefrid Nord at 31-57 million boe recoverable. The discovery will be evaluated for future tie-in to the Aasta Hansteen infrastructure.

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“The Snefrid Nord discovery increases the resource base for the Aasta Hansteen field development project by around 15%,” said Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil senior vice-president, exploration, Norway.

Torolf Christensen, Statoil vice-president for the Aasta Hansteen project, said, “The Snefrid Nord discovery makes the Aasta Hansteen development project more robust and prolongs the Aasta Hansteen production plateau. It will utilize both the Aasta Hansteen and the Polarled gas pipeline capacity.”

The company this year is drilling two exploration wells in the vicinity of Aasta Hansteen to prove the area’s potential. After completing Snefrid Nord, the Transocean Spitsbergen will move to neighboring production license 602 to drill an exploration well in the Roald Rygg prospect.

“Near-field exploration is the main focus of our Norwegian continental shelf exploration program in 2015,” explained Rummelhoff. “By proving additional timely resources, we extend the production life of our fields and create significant value.”

Aasta Hansteen, where production start-up is expected in 2017, is the biggest ongoing field development project in the Norwegian Sea, and will have the largest spar platform in the world, Statoil says (OGJ Online, July 13, 2012; Aug. 26, 2014).

Its plan for development and operations was approved by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in 2013.

Exploration well 6706/12-2 is part of PL218. Statoil holds 51% interest alongside Wintershall Norge AS 24%, OMV (Norge) AS 15%, and ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS 10%. Wintershall farmed into the acreage last year (OGJ Online, Dec. 1, 2014).

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