Northern gets approval for Adriatic seismic EIAs

Offshore staff

LONDON – Italy’s regulatory authorities have approved Northern Petroleum’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) for 3D seismic acquisition in the southern Adriatic Sea.

One EIA concerns surveys over the company’s 100%-owned permits F.R39.NP and F.R40.NP, respectively containing the 446-MMbbl Cygnus exploration prospect and the 26-MMbbl Giove oil discovery. Both concessions are within a proven hydrocarbon province that includes the Eni-operated Aquila oil field.

Enterprise Oil (later acquired by Shell) drilled the Giove discovery well in 1998, which encountered a 94-m (308-ft) oil column in Oligocene reef carbonates. The location is 12 km (7.5 mi) from Aquila in 600 m (1,968 ft) of water, and 20 km (12.4 mi) from the Italian coast.

Data from the Aquila development wells and existing 2D seismic data indicates that Cygnus may share an oil-water contact with Aquila.

The Cygnus prospect is thought to have a stratigraphic trapping mechanism, the reservoir comprising re-sedimented carbonates derived from the adjacent Apulian platform. 

Northern says the 3D data will help delineate Cygnus and more clearly define the optimum locations for a planned exploration well on the structure and an appraisal well on Giove. The company will seek a farm-in partner prior to help acquire the 3D seismic.

In addition, the company has approval for EIAs for two of its exploration permit applications in the same region, contiguous to two existing concessions, where it is hoping to acquire 2D data.


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