Marathon discovers oil, gas at Earb South in the Norwegian North Sea

By Phaedra Friend Troy

US independent Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) has discovered oil and natural gas with its Earb South probe in the Norwegian North Sea.

Drilled by the Transocean Winner semisubmersible to a total depth of 4,534 meters, wildcat well 25/10-11 is located on Production License 505 the northern North Sea.

The Earb South well transected three separate hydrocarbon-bearing Jurassic sandstone sequences, but the formation has a poor reservoir quality.

"The Earb South well encountered a very large hydrocarbon column, and the discovery contains significant in-place volumes," said Ashley Heppenstall, president and CEO of Lundin Petroleum (TSX:LUP), project partner on Earb South. "The well was tested and flowed oil and gas to surface, but the reservoir is tight and further work will be required to determine whether the discovery can be commercialized."

The discovery well transected a 6 to 8 meter sand sequence below the Draupne Shale, a 20 to 30 meter sequence in the Middle/Upper Jurassic, as well as an underlying 285 meter sequence in the Upper Jurassic. A 150-meter-thick interval from this sequence underwent production testing, but while the oil and gas flowed to surface, stable flow was not achieved. 

The Earb South reservoir appears to be quite tight, and extensive data was acquired to allow additional evaluation of the area.

This was the first well drilled in PL505, for which Marathon Oil serves as the operator with 25 percent interest. Lundin Petroleum holds a 30-percent working interest; VNG has 20 percent; and Maersk Oil holds the remaining 15 percent interest in the leasehold.

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