Significant oil discovery close to the Fram field in the North Sea
Equinor and partners Vår Energi, Idemitsu Petroleum and Neptune Energy have made the biggest discovery so far this year on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery between 12 and 19 million standard cubic metres of recoverable oil equivalent, corresponding to 75-120 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.
“The discovery revitalises one of the most mature areas on the NCS. With discoveries in four of four prospects in the Fram area during the past 18 months, we have proven volumes that in total will create considerable value for society,” says Nick Ashton, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway.
Exploration wells 31/2-22 S and 31/2-22 A in the Blasto prospect of production licences 090, 090 I and 090 E were drilled about 3 kilometres southwest of the Fram field, 11 kilometres northwest of the Troll field and 120 kilometres northwest of Bergen.
Based on the quality of the resources and the proximity to existing infrastructure the discoveries can be developed and produced in line with Equinor’s climate goals. The company’s ambition is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from operated fields and onshore plants in Norway by 40% by 2030, compared to 2018.
“Equinor is already an industry leader in low-carbon production. The discoveries in the Fram area will help us reach our goal of a further 40% reduction by 2030 while maintaining the current production level,” says Ashton.
Exploration well 31/2-22 S struck a total oil column of around 30 metres in the upper part of the Sognefjord formation and an oil column of around 50 metres in the lower part of the Sognefjord formation. The oil-water contacts were proven at 1860 and 1960 metres respectively.
Exploration well 31/2-22 A struck high-quality sandstone in the Sognefjord formation, but the reservoir is filled with water and the well is classified as dry.
Regarding the discovery to be commercially viable, the licensees will consider tying it to other discoveries and existing infrastructure in the area.
The wells were not formation tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out.
These are the first and second exploration wells in production licence 090 I. The licence was awarded in the 2017 awards in predefined areas (APA 2017) licencing round.
Well 31/2-22 S was drilled to a vertical depth of 2282 metres below sea level and a measured depth of 2379 metres below sea level. Well 31/2-22 A was drilled to a vertical depth of 2035 metres below sea level and a measured depth of 2207 metres below sea level.
Water depth in the area is 349 metres. The wells have been permanently plugged and abandoned.
The wells were drilled by the West Hercules drilling rig, which is proceeding to drill exploration 34/6-5 S in production licence 554 in the northern North Sea sector.