Statoil concludes Barents Sea campaign with dry hole

Offshore staff

STAVANGER, Norway – The semisubmersible Transocean Spitsbergen is to cut and pull the wellhead from Statoil’s latest wildcat in the Barents Sea. The dry hole well – the first in license 230 – was drilled 30 km (18.6 mi) southwest of the 7228/7-1 oil and gas discovery and around 210 km (130 mi) northeast of Hammerfest in northern Norway.

Statoil’s campaign in the Barents Sea this year has resulted in fewer commercial discoveries than anticipated, admitted Rene Rummelhoff, senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf. “However…we have tested a great variety of geological plays in frontier areas and dramatically increased our knowledge with the huge amount of subsurface data we have collected. We have also demonstrated that we can operate in a safe and efficient manner in the remote parts of the Barents Sea.”

The program started with five wells designed to prove more oil to firm up the Johan Castberg development. One discovery on the Drivis prospect will definitely be tied in.

Statoil also drilled three wells drilled in the Hoop area, 300 km (186 mi) offshore, and the northernmost to date on the Norwegian shelf.

“We have confirmed a working petroleum system in Hoop, but need to work further to understand the migration and where the oil has accumulated,” Rummelhoff said. “Though the wells were drilled during the summer months when ice was several hundred kilometers away, we built important experience through developing an ice management plan which we will bring with us moving forward…”

The final part of the exploration program was focused on the petroleum potential of the Finnmark platform, the Bjørnøya basin north of Johan Castberg, and the Nordkapp basin. “We tested a number of new geological play models, and the Pingvin well northwest of Johan Castberg was a play-opener proving both hydrocarbons and a reservoir in a new unexplored area of the Barents Sea.”

She claimed that the last seven wells drilled by the Transocean Spitsbergen were performed 40% faster than industry average for the Barents Sea, allowing two more wells to be drilled than had been planned.

“Our focus next year will be to analyze the extensive data we have collected, interpret the 3D data from the joint seismic acquisition in the southeastern Barents Sea and decide on the way forward in the Barents Sea. We will also work hard to deliver a strong application in the 23rd concession round.”


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