Wintershall looking to build on Maria

Wintershall Norge is on the lookout for more hydrocarbons off mid-Norway, following this summer’s Maria oil discovery on the Haltenbanken.

Offshore staff

STAVANGER, Norway – Wintershall Norge is on the lookout for more hydrocarbons off mid-Norway, following this summer’s Maria oil discovery on the Haltenbanken.

The semisub Songa Delta drilled the well in license PL475BS, 200 km (124 mi) offshore Trondheim, encountering light oil in the mid-Jurassic Garn formation. Recoverable reserves are estimated in the range 60-120 MMbbl of oil, with and 2-5 bcm (71-106 bcf) of associated gas.

Odd Helge Hatland, Exploration team leader, said the structure had been drilled 22 years earlier by Statoil. “They drilled what they thought was the middle of the structure, which looked flat, according to 2D data available at the time - but actually, they hit the lowest part.”

Hatland, speaking at ONS, added that Maria’s oil was similar in quality to other fields in the area. “We don’t think it needs a lot more exploration. The structure is 10 km long and 2 km wide. Pressure is normal and porosity is reasonably good. It should flow quite well in production, although some form of injection will be needed.”

Wintershall operates a total of four licenses in this lightly explored area relatively close to the Aasgard gas-condensate production complex.

“The good thing about Maria is that is mainly oil in a province where there is a bottleneck at present for gasfield developments,” said Hatland.

Next on the company’s radar on these permits is the high-pressure Mjosa prospect, which will be drilled between 2011 and 2012.

Hatland said Wintershall had drawn up its targets after re-processing a 3D seismic survey acquired in 2006, which came with the license package.

“The acquisition itself was OK, but there were a lot of problems at the time with interpretation. We reprocessed the data and improved on it quite a lot.”

In the Barents Sea, the company is a partner in three exploration licenses. CGGVeritas just completed a 500-sq km 3D seismic survey over one permit operated by BG, the other, acquired by Palarcus and operated by OMV, was scheduled for completion at press time. ENI operates the third license, which already had seismic coverage.

“This area is difficult to image,” Hatland explained. “There’s a complex structuring. And there is also evidence of erosion and uplift, with much of the sediment taken away, which points to leakage of oil, if present.”

08/30/2010

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