Statoil Makes Minor Oil Discovery in North Sea

Norway's Statoil has made a minor oil discovery near the Ekofisk field in the North Sea, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported Friday.

The NPD said that Statoil, the operator of production license 146, is in the process of completing the drilling of wildcat well 2/4-22S – which is located around 13 miles north of Ekofish and 1.5 miles northeast of the 2/2-21 discovery in the southern part of the Norwegian North Sea.

The primary exploration target for well 2/4-22 S was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks in the Permian layer (in the Rotliegend group). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks in the Middle Jurassic layer (the Bryne formation).

In its primary exploration target, the well encountered an 89-foot oil column in the Rotliegend group, 79 feet of which was sandstone of good reservoir quality. In its secondary exploration target, the well encountered oil columns in two intervals in the Bryne formation, where the top interval also extends into the overlying Ula formation in the Upper Jurassic. No oil/water contact was encountered in either of the intervals in the Jurassic. The Bryne formation has a 151-foot oil column, about 98 feet of which is sandstone of good to poor reservoir quality. The Bryne and Ula formations have a 161-foot oil column, about 49 feet of which are from multiple thin sandstone layers with good-to-poor reservoir quality.

Preliminary estimates of the size of the discovery range between 4.4 million and 12.6 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents. Further studies are needed in order to determine whether the discovery can be included as part of a future development of the area.

The NPD said the well was the ninth exploration well in PL146. The license was awarded in the 12th licensing round in 1988.

The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.It was drilled by the Maersk Gallant (394' ILC) drilling facility, which will now move on to drill exploration well 2/4-23 in the same production licence.

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