COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Maersk Oil plans to drill a high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) exploration well on the Maja license in the Danish North Sea.
This follows the Danish Energy Agency granting a two-year extension to this and the adjacent Gita license in the region.
Maersk says the well will be drilled within the next two years after preparatory studies have been completed, i.e. additional pressure modeling. Danish North Sea HP/HT wells typically cost around $100 million, it adds, due to the need for specialized equipment and the time required to drill through these hostile conditions.
“We believe there is more oil and gas to be found in the Danish North Sea both in the maturely developed shallower levels and also in the less mature deeper geologic horizons,” said Esbern Hoch, head of exploration for Denmark, Greenland, and the Middle East North Africa region.
“We will be committing not just substantial financial resources, but also a lot of people, time, and technical expertise to this project. Maersk Oil has been developing its HP/HT capabilities in recent years in both Denmark and the UK and we will be drawing on this experience.”
The Maja license is close to the Maersk Oil-operated Harald gas field and 40 km (25 mi) north of licenses operated by the Danish Underground Consortium, which Maersk heads. The well will be drilled in 50 m (164 ft) water depth to a TD of about 5,000 m (16,404 ft). Maersk defines HP/HT conditions as temperatures in the rock of above 149°C (300°F) and pressures above 700 bar (10,152 psi).
Following PA Resources’ withdrawal from the Maja license, Maersk now holds a 42.62% share in partnership with DONG Energy (27.32%), Noreco (16.39%), and Danoil.
As for Gita, Maersk plans to integrate new data over this concession and perform further technical evaluations before deciding on further steps for this area. The partners are PA Resources, The North Sea Fund, Noreco, and Danoil.
According to Noreco, a new exploration well is planned, three years after the original Gita discovery.