Statoil (NYSE:STO) has found gas and condensate around two kilometres west of the Gullfaks South field in the middle sector of the North Sea. The size of the discovery is estmated at between 19 and 75 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.
Plans call for tie-back of the discovery to existing infrastructure in the Gullfaks South area.
“The discovery by Gullfaks confirms once again that infrastructure-led exploration is important and leads to finds with high profitability that can quickly come on stream,” says Gro Gunleiksrud Haatvedt, senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).
The discovery was made in the Rimfaks valley where drilling of well 34/10-53 S confirmed a column of around 300 metres in good-quality reservoir rocks. Gas was found in the Brent group while no hydrocarbons were discovered in the Statfjord group.
The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 3,847 metres below sea level, and was concluded in the Lower Jurassic rocks of the Statfjord group. Water depth in the area is 136 metres.
“We regard the area around Gullfaks South to be prospective and the find confirms our faith in the area,” says Haatvedt.
“Even if the volumes are modest compared to the large discoveries previously made on the NCS, discoveries of this type are important in order to maximise the potential on the NCS. They help extend the lifetime of the installations.”
The well has not been formation tested, but further data acquisition and sampling are being made to determine the hydrocarbon system and estimate contacts.
The well was drilled by the Deepsea Atlantic drilling rig. After completing the data acquisition and permanently plugging the well, the rig is to drill a sidetrack well to Opal, which is a prospect in the Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks (Brent group) located west of the Rimfaks valley in production licence 050B.
The licensees of PL050 and PL050B are Statoil (operator, 70%) and Petoro (30%).