Shell Strikes Gas in Record Deepwater Depth on Norwegian Shelf

Norwegian Petroleum Directorate

A/S Norske Shell, operator of production license 326, has completed the drilling of wildcat well 6603/12-1. The well proved gas. The discovery is located 150 km northwest of the 6506/6-1 gas discovery ("Victoria") in the northern Norwegian Sea. The well was drilled in 1376 meters of water, which is the greatest water depth of any discovery made on the Norwegian shelf to date.

The objective of the well was to prove petroleum in Upper Cretaceous reservoir rocks in a prospect called "Gro." The well encountered a 16-meter gas column in the Upper Cretaceous, in a reservoir of varying quality.

There is great uncertainty regarding the size of the discovery. Preliminary estimates indicate between 10 and 100 billion standard cubic meters (Sm3) of recoverable gas.

The well was not formation-tested, but extensive sampling and data acquisition have been performed. Further delineation drilling is needed in order to clarify the resource potential, including the possibility of additional volumes.

The well is the first exploration well in production license 326, awarded in the 18th licensing round in 2004. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 3805 meters below the sea surface, and was terminated in the Upper Cretaceous (probably the Springar Formation). The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.

Well 6603/12-1 was drilled by the Leiv Eiriksson drilling facility, which will now conduct drilling activity outside the Norwegian shelf.

The licensees in production license 326:

  • GDF SUEZ E&P Norge AS 10.%
  • StatoilHydro Petroleum AS 40%
  • A/S Norske Shell 50%