Statoil Petroleum has made another significant oil discovery in the Hyme field in the Norwegian Sea. Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) is the operator of this field with the production license 348 B and has discovered oil in the wildcat wells 6407/8-6 and 6407/8-6 A.

Near-field exploration strategy of Statoil

“The wells were drilled about 4 kilometers west of the Hyme field and 15 kilometers northeast of the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea. Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery between 9 and 16 million cubic meters of recoverable oil equivalents. The well was not formation-tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out,” reports the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Figure 1: Map of nearby fields

Source: Statoil

This is the third near-field discovery in the Norwegian Sea in three months and confirms the viability of Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO)’s near-field exploration strategy. “We are very pleased with the results of our near-field exploration program in the Norwegian Sea this year,” said Gro G. Haatvedt, Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf.

“In three months we have made three new discoveries in the Norne, Åsgard and Njord areas proving a total of 86-166 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent. These are high value barrels that allow us to extend the production life of our installations.”

The gas / condensate discovery in the Asgard area was announced in August whereas the Norne area oil discovery came in September of this year. “A most likely future development of the Snilehorn discovery will be via the Hyme production system to Njord, or as a direct tie-in to the Njord platform,” says Arve Rennemo, vice president and asset owner of Njord.

Technical problems during drilling

The objective of the well was to prove petroleum in the Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks. The Norwegian oil company found the reservoir and rock quality to be worse than expected as it was mostly watered out. However, they still found a 40 meter crude oil column in the Middle Jurassic formation, a 130 meter crude oil column trapped in the Tilje formation rocks and another 21 meter crude oil column trapped in the Triassic rocks.

However, Haatvedt stated, “This is probably the first time hydrocarbons have been proven in Grey Beds formation in this part of the Norwegian Sea. This will be confirmed by further analyses of the data and may imply further upside potential in this area.”

“The wells 6407/8-6 and 6407/8-6 A was drilled to a vertical depth of respectively 3420 and 3537 meters below sea level, and both were terminated in Upper Triassic. The water depth is 282 meters. The well will be permanently plugged and abandoned. The wells 6407/8-6 and 6407/8-6 A was drilled by the rig Songa Trym now proceed to production license 248 in the North Sea to drill wildcat well 35,” reported the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Early estimates of the oil discovery place it between 55 and 100 million barrels of oil equivalents. The quality of the light oil discovered here is perceived to be very high at this point. The formation has not been tested yet but extensive data has been collected from the area.

Figure 2: Location of license

Source: Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD)
Source: Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD)

These wells were the first exploration wells to be drilled in this production license. The license was awarded in 2011 and is shared between Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) (35 percent), GDF Suez SA (EPA:GSZ) E&P Norge AS (20 percent), E.ON E&P Norge AS (17.5 percent), Core Energy AS (17.5 percent), Faroe Petroleum plc (LON:FPM) Norge AS (7.5 percent) and VNG Norge AS (2.5 percent).