Skrugard opens Barents Sea oil play

Offshore staff

STAVANGER, Norway – Statoil claims to have made a significant oil discovery on the Skrugard prospect in the Norwegian Barents Sea and says it could be one of the most important finds on the Norwegian continental shelf of the past decade.

Skrugard was drilled by the semisubmersible Polar Pioneer, in production license 532, 100 km (62 mi) north of the producing Snøhvit gas field. The well delivered a 33-m (108-ft) gas column and a 90-m (295-ft) oil column, and the oil appears to be easily producible.

Statoil estimates recoverable volumes at 150–250 MMboe, and sees further upside in the license of up to 250 MMboe.

Tim Dodson, EVP Exploration, said the find was “a break-through for frontier exploration in the Barents Sea. This opens a new oil province that can provide additional resource growth.”

Statoil already is lining up a well on another prospect in the same license next year, and possible appraisal drilling at Skrugard.

This structure was Statoil's chief priority in its bid for Norway’s 20th licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf – the concession was awarded in April 2009. This spring the Norwegian government will allocate 21st licensing round acreage, and areas close to Skrugard likely will be assigned.

Statoil has operated over 60 of the 80 wells drilled to date in the southern Barents Sea. Snøhvit is the only current field center in production, although Eni's Goliat field is under development.

“The Barents Sea is large, and we cannot say that we have cracked the code for the entire area yet. But we have confirmed that our exploration model is correct. This is a break-through, and an important step in understanding how the geology – and thus the hydrocarbon systems in the Barents Sea – works,” says Dodson.

“If the volume estimates are confirmed, then this discovery could provide a basis for an independent development. Given that it takes between five to 10 years from discovery to production, we are planning for the future now. Our ambition is to put this find into production as quickly as possible,” he adds.

Statoil is the operator of license 532 with a 50% share. The license partners are Eni (30%) and Petoro (20%). 


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