The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has reported that six wildcat wells were spudded on the Norwegian continental shelf as of June 27, 2005. Two new discoveries were made, a gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea and an oil discovery in the North Sea, plus two more currently being drilled.
A/S Norske Shell has proven gas in wildcat well 6406/9-1 in sandstone from the Jurassic age in the Norwegian Sea. This is the largest gas discovery proven on the Norwegian shelf since 1997, and it may contain 60 bcf recoverable gas. Shell obtained an extensive collection of cores and logs along with two production tests with good results. The company has an appraisal well planned for next year to confirm the size. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) finds this discovery to be very interesting for the further development of this area of the Norwegian Sea.
Hydro has proven oil with gas in wildcat well 35/11-13 in sandstone from the Jurassic age in the North Sea. The company drilled the well on a prospect due north of the Fram field. The discovery is in an area with developed infrastructure for production of hydrocarbons. Therefore, the possibility of the discovery being commercial is considered to be good. This confirms that profitable discoveries can still be made in mature parts of the shelf.
Activity is currently underway in two wildcat wells; Statoil's well 6302/6-1 on the Tulipan prospect in the Møre basin and Hydro's well 6605/8-1 on the Stetind prospect in the Vøring basin. Both wells are in relatively unexplored areas of the Norwegian Sea, and they are considered to be important for understanding the geological development of these areas.
Several interesting new wells will be spudded in the second half of 2005. Drilling activity is planned in the Barents Sea, in the deep water areas of the Norwegian Sea, and in unconfirmed plays in the North Sea.
Twenty-three mobile rigs are qualified to drill on the Norwegian continental shelf.
"The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate believes it is important that the oil industry increases its efforts to bring in more rigs, so that exploration activity on the Norwegian shelf can increase," Director General Gunnar Berge says.