NPD receives northeastern Barents Sea drill cores

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway – Geologists from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) are analyzing drill cores retrieved from seven shallow wells drilled last fall in the northeastern Barents Sea.

This is an area currently off-limits to petroleum activity.

The team is studying 1,000 m (3,281 ft) of shallow stratigraphic cores with a magnifying glass, tape measure, and hydrochloric acid at the core store in Stavanger.

Later this year external consultants will conduct biostratigraphic work to determine the age of sedimentary rocks and geochemical studies.

“Once these studies have been completed, we will understand much more about the geology in these sea areas,” said geologist Andreas Bjørnestad, who participated in the drilling expedition with the vessel Bucentaur.

The cores were first transported to the NPD core store in Trondheim where three consultants prepared the samples. Last month the container holding the cores arrived at the core store in Stavanger, which holds samples and drill cuttings from nearly all exploration and production wells drilled on the Norwegian shelf.

While most of these drill cores are from reservoir rocks, the samples taken last fall were complete cores from the seabed, containing both source and reservoir rocks. They should therefore provide useful information on the subsurface, NPD said.

The drill cores are 5-7 cm in diameter and are split lengthwise and will be used for research into sediment types, stratigraphy, sedimentation environment, and climate variations.


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The NPD’s Espen Simonstad, Tomas Mørch, and Nina Pedersen check the cores. (Photo courtesy Siv Rødland)

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