December saw Well 6608/10-17 S spud, targeting the Cape Vulture Prospect in the Norwegian Sea, taking the total number of E&A spuds in 2016 to 26. The Cape Vulture spud gives a total of three active wells in Norway through December, one in each of the Norwegian, North and Barents seas, respectively. In addition, there are 11 development wells currently in operation.
The infrastructure led exploration (ILX) Well 34/11-6 S, targeting the Middle Jurassic reservoirs of the Valemon West HPHT Prospect, with the West Elara (JU), spud in November has remained active throughout December. The prospect is located on the western extent of the Valemon Field, and is to be turned around for production in the event of success. The results of the three Langfjellet sidetracks were released in December, after the announcement of 109m (357ft) gross oil column was encountered in the initial well. Two sidetracks were reported to have encountered oil columns of 61m (200ft) and 105m (344ft) to the south east and west of the initial well, respectively. However, the second of the three sidetracks, targeting the northern extent of the discovery, was discovered to be water bearing. Aker BP appears confident that the Langfjellet, alongside the East Frigg Gamma Delta Discovery, will form a new hub in the North of Alvheim area that now contains contingent resources of 215 mmboe.
Statoil has spud the ILX Well 6608/10-17 S (4 December) with the Deepsea Bergen (SS), to test the Cape Vulture Prospect, 5 km (3 miles) north of the Norne Field. No prospect specific details have been released, however, it has been assumed to be targeting the equivalent Upper Jurassic Ile and Tofte formations in a bid to help sustain production at the Norne facilities.
Lundin is the operator of the only currently active well in the Barents Sea, Well 7219/12-1 testing the Filicudi Prospect, with Leiv Eiriksson (SS). The Filicudi Prospect has been described as a tilted fault block with Lower Jurassic Stø and Nordmela formation reservoirs analogous to the Johan Castberg Discovery, with the Triassic Tubåen Formation as a secondary target.
Given that there was only one additional well spud in December 2016, the total number of E&A wells spuds is 26, of which only one was appraisal. This represents a 42% reduction in activity from the 45 E&A well spuds in 2015, with eleven fewer exploration wells and eight fewer appraisal wells drilled in 2016. In contrast to the UKCS, Norway saw activity reduce in H2 with only 8 wells drilled in comparison to the 18 wells drilled in H1, making up almost 70% of the wells in the year. Despite this reduction in activity the discovered resource rose by 24% to 336 mmboe from 270 mmboe. HW believes that 215 mmboe of this discovered resource is considered commercial. Norway Well Slot January 2017
Roderick Bevens, 4 January 2016