StatoilHydro has completed the drilling of an exploration well in the Curran prospect which lies in the western part of Oseberg in the North Sea. The results show a small oil discovery in the upper part of the Brent group.
Exploration well 30/8-4 S was drilled by the Transocean Winner semisubmersible drilling unit. Hydrocarbons were struck in the upper parts of the Brent group and drilling was terminated in Middle Jurassic rocks.
"We have made a small oil discovery in the Curran prospect south of the Tune field," says Tom Dreyer, vice president for exploration in this part of the North Sea.
"With today's oil price the field is not quite commercial but that could change in the time to come," he said. "In any case, we are pleased to have proven more resources near our installations in the Oseberg area."
The purpose of the drilling was to test a petroleum trap which lies south of Tune, below one of the big north-south-running faults in the Oseberg area. No wells have ever before been drilled in this type of trap in the same area.
Poor reservoir properties characterise the major part of the Brent group but one interval in the Tarbert formation shows light oil in sandstone with worthwhile production properties.
The size of the find in the producible interval is within the uncertainty range of 3-15.7 million barrels of oil equivalent, with most of the volumes as oil.
The well has been plugged and abandoned and a possible tie-back from the discovery to installations in the area will be considered. Transocean Winner will now drill well 30/5-3 in the northern part of the Oseberg area.
Licensees in production license 190 (the Tune license) are: StatoilHydro -- operator (50%), Petoro (40%) and Total (10%).
Tune lies 10 kilometers southwest of the Oseberg Field Center and is developed with subsea production installations tied into the Field Center. The Tune field was discovered with an exploration well in 1995 and confirmed with an appraisal well in 1996. Tune started producing just six years after its confirmation.
It has been developed with a sea-floor template with four wells tied into the Oseberg Field Center, and with hook-up possibilities for two additional satellite wells.
At plateau output, Tune will produce 3 billion cubic meters (Sm3) gas per year. Tune has an estimated productive lifetime of 15 years.
This contributes to more efficient recovery of resources from the Oseberg field.
Total development costs on the Tune project are NOK 3.2 billion (USD 453 million/EUR 413 million), including drilling of production wells.
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