Total Discovers up to 75M Barrels in North Sea

France's Total and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate announced Monday that wildcat well 34/6-2 S has found oil at the Garantiana prospect in the North Sea.

The well is on Production License 554, which is operated by Total E&P Norge (with a 40-percent interest). It is located around 19 miles northeast of the Visund Field and 115 miles northwest of Bergen, in water depths of 1,260 feet.

The well encountered oil in the Lower Jurassic Cook Formation, with the oil described as being of good reservoir quality. A successful production test was carried out on the well, with a flow rate of 4,300 barrels of oil per day through a 28/64-ince choke. A sidetrack well, 34/6-2 A, was then drilled to appraise the discovery and allowed to identify an oil-water contact in the formation. Total said preliminary estimates suggest a discovery of between 25 and 75 million barrels of recoverable oil.

The Garantiana well is the first exploration well on PL 554 and other prospects in the immediate vicinity of it are also under evaluation, with a second exploration well planned.

"This oil discovery opens new perspectives in the area. The well, the test and the sidetrack on Garantiana have given information which will allow us to optimize the future exploration of the near-by structures and to investigate the development solutions," said Patrice de Viviès, Total's senior vice president for exploration and production in Northern Europe, in a statement release by the company Monday.

Bridge Energy CEO Tom Reynolds, whose company has a 20-percent interest in PL 554, commented in a separate statement:

"The discovery at Garantiana adds significant resources to Bridge as it stands now and the adjacent prospects on the licence offer the potential of further upside. This broadens the number of production growth options within our portfolio and the Bridge team is now looking forward to working with our partners to examine future drilling targets and potential development options."

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported that the rig used to drill both the discovery and appraisal wells, the Borgland Dolphin (mid-water semisub), will now drill development wells on the Oseberg field, where Statoil is the operator.



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