To date 33 exploratory and appraisal wells have been drilled, up from 28 for the first half of 2013. Of the discoveries, seven have come in the North Sea, three in the Norwegian Sea, and three in the Barents Sea.
The North Sea discoveries were all small and close to existing fields. Statoil was responsible for six and Total for the other.
Total’s Heimdal area find (well 25/5-9) was the southernmost in the sector, proving oil in the Heimdal formation in the Palaeocene.
Statoil found oil in two wells in the southwestern part of the Oseberg area, and in well 35/11-17 in the Fram area in the northeast of the sector.
Most concentrated exploration activity has been in the Gullfaks/Visund area in the northern Norwegian North Sea, where Statoil has four oil and gas discoveries in Jurassic reservoir rocks.
Southwest of the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea, VNG Norge proved oil and gas in the Pil structure in the Upper Jurassic Rogn and Melke formations. This is the largest find anywhere offshore Norway so far this year.
In the Barents Sea, Statoil’s Johan Castberg area campaign delivered two small discoveries containing gas and oil, while northeast of the Snøhvit area, Det norske oljeselskap proved small volumes of oil with a well in the Triassic Kobbe formation.
Eight exploration wells are currently drilling. VNG’s well on the Bue prospect near Pil will be completed soon, along with two wells in the Hoop region of the northern Barents Sea operated by OMV and Statoil.
Lundin is drilling appraisal well 7120/1-4 S on its Gohta discovery north of Snøhvit.
NPD expects exploration activity to remain strong over the remainder of the year in all three sectors.
However, the association has received no development plan submissions for existing discoveries on the Norwegian shelf this year.