OMV and partners Petoro, Idemitsu, Tullow and Statoil have made the first oil discovery in the Barents Sea’s Hoop-Maud Basin area. Operator OMV is about to complete drilling operations on wildcat well 7324/8-1, Wisting Central. The well was drilled approximately 310 km north of Hammerfest using Ocean Rig’s Leiv Eiriksson semi. “This is the first well drilled in the frontier Hoop area. It gives us valuable geological information and demonstrates that the Hoop area has an exciting oil potential,” Gro Haatvedt, Statoil senior VP for exploration Norway, said.
The presence of oil was proven through wireline logging, wireline testing and coring. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 905 meters below sea level in a water depth of 373 meters. “This is a major light oil discovery for Norway, Tullow Oil and our co-venturers. The Wisting Central wildcat well has opened the Hoop-Maud Basin by proving a new shallow play in the region. This discovery also demonstrates the effectiveness of leading-edge exploration techniques, pioneered by Tullow’s Norwegian exploration team, that combine shallow seismic and electromagnetic survey data in the search for oil,” Angus McCoss, Tullow exploration director, commented.
After Wisting Central is permanently plugged and abandoned, the Leiv Eiriksson will move to drill the Wisting Main (Kobbe) wildcat well in the same production license, PL537. This well will pursue a different and deeper target and should provide valuable information, OMV said.
The objective of Wisting Central was to confirm the exploration concept and to prove hydrocarbons in middle to lower Jurassic reservoir rocks of the Upper Realgrunnen Subgroup on the Hoop High area, which had not seen exploration drilling previously.
OMV believes the well results reflect a breakthrough for exploration activities in the region. “We are very pleased with this exploration success. This discovery with exciting follow-up potential will significantly contribute to OMV’s long-term organic growth in Northern Europe. It is another important step after the recently announced transaction with Statoil, which includes interests in the fields Gullfaks and Gudrun,” Jaap Huijskes, OMV Executive Board member responsible for E&P, said. Statoil plans to drill two operated wells in the same area in 2014 – the Atlantis and Apollo prospects in PL615, approximately 50 km north of PL537.
Preliminary estimates place the size of the Wisting Central discovery for the drilled segment between 60 million and160 million bbl of recoverable oil, and 10 billion to 40 billion cu ft of recoverable gas. Considering equivalent segments immediately adjacent to the first one, total recoverable oil volumes for PL 537 could range from 200 million to 500 million bbl of oil equivalent, according to OMV.