Non-commercial gas discovery in the Barents Sea

January 12, 2009, 09:20 CET
This is the second well on the Obesum prospect. The first exploration well drilled on the prospect struck oil and gas in 2008.

Following exploration drilling in the Barents Sea in 2008 StatoilHydro has met all operator commitments associated licences awarded in the 19th licensing round, which took place in 2006.


Geir Richardsen

"Through this exploration drilling we have brought the understanding of the hydrocarbon potential in the Barents Sea a significant step forward. This gas discovery, however, is too small and complicated to be deemed commercial," says Geir Richardsen, the head of StatoilHydro's exploration in northern areas.

The drilling was performed by the Polar Pioneer drilling unit in 340 metres of water, some 175 kilometres north/northwest of Hammerfest.

The purpose of appraisal well 7223/5-1 was to confirm the existence of hydrocarbons in the Obesum structure, some 17 kilometres south-east of the first discovery well, 7222/6-1S, which confirmed the existence of hydrocarbons in Mid-Triassic sandstone.

The appraisal well struck a small gas column in a Mid-Triassic sandstone reservoir, but according to preliminary estimates the resources are not commercial. The well also confirmed the existence of gas somewhat lower down on the structure.

The appraisal well indicates that the size of the shallower discovery is within the range of uncertainty of one to five billion Sm3 of recoverable gas. It is too early to estimate the size of the deeper discovery.

StatoilHydro is the operator and has a 100 percent interest in production licence 228.

Facts about Obesum:

  • The Obesum prospect is located in production licence 228, originally awarded during the Barents Sea project in 1997, with Saga Petroleum as the operator.
  • Appraisal well 7223/5-1 was drilled to a total depth of 2525 metres below sea level.
  • The appraisal well is the third well in production licence 228.
  • In 2008 hydrocarbons were struck in well 7222/6-1S on the Obesum prospect.
  • Completed in Mid-Jurassic rocks the appraisal well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.
  • Polar Pioneer will now move on to drill well 30/9-22 in the StatoilHydro-operated production licence PL 104.