Hydro Finds Oil in Oseberg Cellar

Norsk Hydro
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Oseberg field operator Hydro has found oil in well 30/9-B-19 A, which was drilled from the Oseberg B platform. It was during the drilling of an injection well to the Oseberg Vestflank that Hydro drilled into an exploration prospect in the "cellar" under Oseberg.

"This is the third oil find around Oseberg in the past 18 months – and we're working to quickly produce the new-found oil," says Hydro O&E's Operations director Oystein Michelsen.

The new find is in the Statfjord formation in the Gamma stucture. The fault blocks Gamma and Alfa comprise a large part of the Oseberg field, which has produced oil and gas since 1988.

This production has been from the Brent reservoir, which lies over the Statfjord formation. "In other words, we've now found oil in the main field's cellar."

Northwest of the Gamma block is the Oseberg Vestflank subsea development, which, when finished, will consist of three production wells in the Statfjord formation.

The first production well started in February 2006 and oil recovery from the well will be increased with water and gas injection.

"Extending production wells in exploration areas is an important part of the exploration strategy around Oseberg. The new injection well was planned to pass very close to the Gamma/Statfjord prospect, and Hydro used the occasion to drill into the prospect before the injection well on the Vestflank was completed," Michelsen explains.

The well has a total length of about 6,700 meters and a vertical depth of some 2,800 meters.

Third discovery

The new find is the third discovery in the Oseberg area within the past one and a half years. J Central, found in summer 2005, is already producing and has a daily output of some 4,000 barrels.

B-Sor was found in spring 2005 and there are plans to tap its oil during the next few years with a well from the Oseberg Sør platform. Lower costs associated with developing resources close to existing installations justifies drilling a long production well from the platform.

"We're also looking at fast and effective development solutions for the Gamma Main Statfjord find and have already started planning. The work to find additional oil resources around Oseberg continues full speed ahead," Michelsen comments.

It will be possible to develop the find with wells drilled from the Oseberg Field Center. Another possibility is to use the last slot available on the Vestflank subsea template. In both cases, the find contributes to increasing oil production from the Oseberg Field Center.

License shareholders in the Oseberg Unit are Norsk Hydro as operator with 34%; Petoro with 33.6%; Statoil with 15.3%; Total with 10%; ExxonMobil with 4.7% and ConocoPhillips with the remaining 2.4%.

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