Equinor and partners Vår Energi and Petoro have struck oil in exploration well 7220/7-4 in production license 532 in the Barents Sea. Recoverable resources are currently estimated at between 5 million and 8 million standard cu m of recoverable oil, corresponding to 31 million to 50 million barrels of recoverable oil.
“Succeeding in the Barents Sea requires perseverance and a long-term perspective. This discovery strengthens our belief in the opportunities that exist, not least around the Castberg, Wisting, Snøhvit and Goliat areas,” said Nick Ashton, Equinor Senior Vice President for Exploration in Norway.
The well was drilled about 10 km southwest from well 7220/8-1 on the Johan Castberg field and 210 km northwest of Hammerfest.
Equinor has been active in the Barents Sea since it was opened more than 40 years ago. Exploration well 7220/7-4 is the first of four planned exploration wells for Equinor in the Barents Sea this year (as operator or partner).
“Equinor has been developing strong specialist communities for exploration, development and operations in Harstad and Hammerfest over many years. The follow-up of this discovery may strengthen this work,” Mr Ashton said.
The well struck 109 m of oil in the Stø and Nordmela formations. The top reservoir was encountered at a vertical depth of 1788 m below sea level. The expected gas cap was not encountered in the well.
The well was not formation tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling took place.
Further development of the discovery toward the planned infrastructure for the Johan Castberg field will be considered at a later stage. The proven resources may thus generate important additional value and tax revenues for society from the Johan Castberg field.
This is the 11th exploration well in production license 532. The license was awarded in the 20th licensing round in 2009.
The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,080 m below sea level and completed in the Tubåen formation from the Early Jurassic period in 351 m of water. The well has now been permanently plugged and abandoned.
Well 7220/7-4 was drilled by the Transocean Enabler drilling rig, which will now return to and continue drilling on the Equinor-operated Johan Castberg field.