Wintershall announced the successful drilling of the Maria appraisal well in the Norwegian Sea. Well 6407/1-5 S is located about 12 miles (20 kilometers) east of the Kristin field and about 5 miles (8 kilometers) northeast of the Maria discovery Wintershall made in 2010. The purpose of the appraisal well was to delineate the Maria discovery and prove hydrocarbons in the northern extent of the structure.
"Our preliminary calculations do not only confirm our original resource estimates, but support the upper end of our discovery volumes," said Bernd Schrimpf, Managing Director of Wintershall Norge. The original Maria discovery has been estimated to contain between 60 and 120 million barrels of recoverable oil and between 2 and 5 billion standard cubic meters (sm3) of recoverable gas.
Wintershall will now continue to assess together with its partners various development solutions for the discovery.
"The extensive data we have acquired with the appraisal well will further support our analysis for an optimum development concept for Maria – either a subsea tieback or a standalone development," said Maria Project Manager Hugo Dijkgraaf. "Proving oil in the northern extent of the structure has always been the strong goal of our technical team. Our current success once again shows their excellent expertise."
The well encountered a 128-feet (39-meter) thick oil column in the Garn formation and reservoir quality as expected. The oil-water contact in well 6407/1-5 S is the same as in the discovery well, and pressure data indicate communication between north and south. The discovery is delineated to the north. A successful formation test has been carried out.
The well was drilled by the drilling facility Borgland Dolphin (mid-water semisub) to a total depth of 13,560 feet (4,133 meters) below the sea surface and terminated in the Tilje formation in the Lower Jurassic. The water depth at the location is 974 feet (297 meters). Wintershall Norge AS is the operator, with a 50 percent share. The other licensees are Petoro AS (30 percent) and Centrica Resources AS (20 percent).
The North Sea is one of the traditional core regions of Wintershall. With over 40 licenses and more than 20 operatorships, Wintershall is one of the largest license holders in Norway. The company invested around half of its global exploration budget in the Norwegian continental shelf alone in 2011. Wintershall plans to invest up to two billion euros in exploration and field development in Norway and the UK and is aiming for a production level of 50,000 boepd by 2015. The fields Knarr, Edvard Grieg and Cladhan should contribute to meeting this target.
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