Statoil group has large Barents oil, gas find

By OGJ editors
– A Statoil group has discovered a recoverable 150-250 million bbl of oil equivalent in the Barents Sea off Norway 100 km north of Snohvit gas field.

Statoil called Skrugard a breakthrough discovery and one of the most important finds on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in the last decade. Statoil said it sees the chance of finding an additional 250 million bbl boe on License 532.

The 7220/8-1 discovery well encountered hydrocarbons 1,250 m below sea level in 370 m of water. It encountered a 33-m proven gas column and a 90-m oil column. The oil is easily producible, Statoil said. Transocean’s Polar Pioneer Arctic semisubmersible drilled the well.

The well site is 200 km off Ingova in Masoy municipality in Finnmark and 210 km off Bear Island. The well proved oil in the Bear Island fault zone, in the Barents Sea north of the Hammerfest basin, home of Snohvit and Goliat fields.

Tim Dodson, executive vice-president for exploration in Statoil, said, “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 breakthrough, and an important step in understanding how the geology--and thus the hydrocarbon systems in the Barents Sea--works,” Dodson said.

“If the volume estimates are confirmed, then this discovery could provide a basis for an independent development. Given that it takes between 5 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 added.

Statoil is license operator with a 50% share. Eni Norway has 30%, and Petoro AS has 20%.

Statoil plans to drill a new exploratory prospect in the same license in 2012 and possibly a Skrugard appraisal well. Skrugard is the third well drilled in the Barents Sea in 2010-11. Both Statoil and Eni had previously drilled dry wells on Lunde prospects.

Skrugard was Statoil’s first priority in the 20th licensing round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, which was awarded in April 2009. Through this spring, the Norwegian government will allocate acreage in the 21st licensing round, including blocks near Skrugard.

Statoil retrieved several core samples to understand reservoir properties, and some data collection in the well still remains.

Statoil has operated more than 60 of the more than 80 wells that have been drilled in the southern Barents Sea. Snohvit gas field, operated by Statoil, is the only field center established so far in the Barents Sea, while Eni’s Goliat field is under development.

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