OSLO, Norway – By mid-year, 28 exploration wells had spudded on the Norwegian shelf, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), eight more during the corresponding period in 2012.
Of these, 19 were wildcats and nine appraisal wells. Eight brought discoveries, comprising six in the North Sea and two in the Norwegian Sea. NPD expects around 50 well spuds in total by year-end.
NPD Director General Bente Nyland said: “So far this year, the discovery rate has been somewhat below average, but a number of interesting wells remain. I am somewhat disappointed by the result from theNunatak well [drilled by Statoil in the Barents Sea],” she added, although Statoil will drill further prospects this year in the Johan Castberg area.
Much of this year’s exploration has been in the North Sea, led by Statoil and Lundin’s appraisal programs on the giantJohan Sverdrup discovery.
DONG achieved a minor gas/condensate find with exploration well 3/7-8 S, south of theTrym field in the southern Norwegian North Sea. Farther north in the Sleipner area, Statoil proved oil with well 15/9-11 A, northwest of the producing Volve field, and in the central Norwegian North Sea, Lundin found larger oil quantities in well 16/4-6 S, just south of its Edvard Grieg field.
East of Grane, Statoil proved more oil with well 25/11-27, and the company has made two new discoveries this year close to the Gullfaks field. Between the Vigdis and Snorre fields, another well encountered a 24-m (79-ft) oil column in Jurassic rocks of the Cook formation.
Wintershall notched two minor gas/condensate discoveries south of Åsgard in the Norwegian Sea. Five more wells are currently drilling in this sector.
In the Barents Sea, Total is delineating the 2011Norvarg (7225/3-1) discovery, which contains hydrocarbons in the Kobbe formation in Triassic rocks. A formation test is scheduled.
Among other wells to come in this area are Lundin’s 7120/1-3, just north ofSnøhvit.
NPD has approved various new field developments this year. Over the next few days it expects Lundin to submit a plan of installation and operation for the Edvard Grieg oil pipeline.