The Norwegian Barents Sea has always been of strong interest for international oil companies, but in recent months, exploration activity has amplified in this area. However, Eni Norge AS, a subsidiary of the Italian oil giant Eni SpA (ADR) (NYSE:E) (BIT:ENI), ran into some disappointment recently when the first well in one of the new areas it was venturing into ended up dry.


Wildcat well production license to Eni

Eni SpA (ADR) (NYSE:E) (BIT:ENI) is the operator of the production license 529 and was drilling the wildcat well 7016/2-1. The license to this area was granted to Eni in May 2009 which holds 30% interest in the block. The remaining shares are held by DONG E&P Norge AS (20%), OMV AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:OMVKY) (FRA:OMV) (ETR:OMV) (Norge) AS (20%), Wintershall Norge AS (20%) and Repsol SA (ADR) (OTCMKTS:REPYY) (MCE:REP) Norge AS (10%).

This well was the first to be drilled under license 529. The license covers an area of 676.040 square kilometers. “The well was drilled in the Barents Sea about 185 kilometers southwest of the Snøhvit field and 160 kilometers northwest of Tromsø,” reports the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

“The objective of the well was to prove petroleum in Eocene and Paleocene reservoir rocks (the Sotbakken Group). The well did not encounter reservoir rocks in the Sotbakken Group. The well is dry,” proclaimed the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in a press release yesterday.

Vertical drilling

Vertical drilling was carried out in the area and the well was drilled to a depth of 4,025 meters below the sea surface. The well was terminated in the Upper Palaeocene, it was reported. Water depth in this area is 1366 meters.

This was the first deepwater well in the Barents Sea and hence, it was one of the most exciting activities in the area. However, with this setback, the well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.

“Well 7016/2-1 was drilled by the Scarabeo 8 drilling facility, which will now proceed to production license 229 in the Barents Sea to drill production wells on the Goliat field, where Eni Norge AS is (also) the operator,” reports the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Eni Norge AS is a subsidiary of Eni SpA (ADR) (NYSE:E) (BIT:ENI) operating in Norway, and produced 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of oil and gas in the year 2012. The company holds 438 million boe of oil and gas reserves in Norway and is headquartered in Stavanger.