German oil and gas firm Wintershall announced Monday that it has made an oil discovery at its Skarfjell prospect in the Norwegian North Sea.
The wildcat well 35/9-7, on production license 418 where Wintershall is operator, found Upper Jurassic reservoir sands of "very good quality" and that contain light oil with "a significant oil column", said the firm. So far, Wintershall added, the resource is estimated to range between 60 million and 160 million barrels of recoverable oil, although commercial viability, as well as potential further upside, will need to be confirmed through appraisal drilling.
The discovery is located approximately 10 miles southwest of the Gjøa field in the North Sea and lies between the Grosbeak discovery to the south and the Titan discovery to the north. The primary exploration target of well 35/9-7 was to prove hydrocarbons in the Upper Jurassic reservoir rocks.
The well was drilled by the Songa Delta (mid-water semisub) rig, which will now be transferred to Suncor for the drilling of the nearby 33/6-2S well.
"The Skarfjell discovery is another important milestone for Wintershall and adds further growth potential to our portfolio on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. We are confident of the quality of our projects both in exploration and development and continue to strongly pursue our ambitious targets for the northern North Sea," said Martin Bachmann, a Wintershall exploration and production director, in a press statement Monday.
Wintershall has a portfolio of more than 40 licenses on the NCS, which includes more than 20 operatorships. The firm aims to raises its daily production on the Norwegian and British continental shelves from a current level of around 4,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to 50,000 boepd by 2015.
According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, production license 418 was awarded during Norway's 2006 'awards in pre-defined areas' licensing round. As well as Wintershall, which holds a 35-percent interest, other participants in the license include Agora Oil & Gas (20 percent), Edison International Norway (15 percent), Bayerngas Norge (20 percent) and RWE Dea Norge (10 percent).
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