STAVANGER, Norway – Statoil and partner Idemitsu Petroleum Norge have discovered sub-commercial gas in the Mercury prospect in the Barents Sea. This concludes Statoil’s 2014 exploration program in the Hoop area.
Well 7324/9-1, drilled by the semisubmersibleTransocean Spitsbergen in 414 m (1,358 ft) of water, encountered about 10 m (33 ft) of gas-filled reservoir rocks in the Stø formation in the Realgrunn sub-group with good reservoir quality, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
Mercury, in license PL614, was its third exploratory well this summer in the area following wells on Apollo and Atlantis in PL615. In neighboring license PL537, the company is a partner in the OMV-operated oil discoveriesWisting Central and Hanssen, 20 km (12.4 mi) to the northwest of Mercury.
“We are naturally disappointed with the results of this summer’sdrilling campaign in the Hoop area,” said Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil senior vice president for exploration on the Norway continental shelf.
“However, it is important to understand that Hoop is a frontier area of more than 15,000 sq km [5,791 sq mi] with only six wells completed to date, so we do not have all the answers about the subsurface yet. Non-commercial discoveries and dry wells are part of the game in frontier exploration. They provide important knowledge about the area.”
Statoil designed its exploration to campaign to test different play models in variedgeological settings and at varying depths.
“We have confirmed a working petroleum system in Hoop, but need to work further to understand the migration and where the oil has accumulated,” Rummelhoff added.
Transocean Spitsbergen will next drill wildcat well 7125/4-3 in PL393 B for Statoil.