Significant discovery in the North Sea

Source: press release, 21 June 2021

Sixth-generation semi-submersible rig ‘Scarabeo 8’
Sixth-generation semi-submersible rig ‘Scarabeo 8’ (photo: Saipem)

Vår Energi confirms discovery of oil and gas in the King and Prince exploration wells in the Balder area in the Southern North Sea.

The combined King and Prince exploration wells proved successful with the latest preliminary estimates showing volumes between 60-135 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents.

“The discoveries prove that there are still opportunities in the mature areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. I’m proud to represent yet another discovery that will generate activity and create value – for the company, the owners, the supplier industry and the society at large. Clearly, our near-field exploration strategy is paying off and is certainly an approach we will continue to pursue,” says Vår Energi CEO, Torger Rød.

With the King and Prince result, Vår Energi celebrates the fifth significant exploration discovery so far this year. VP Exploration Denis Palermo and his team are on a winning streak.

“This is fantastic news. We know that there is significant remaining exploration potential in the Balder licenses and I’m proud and glad to see that all the hard work put down by the team has paid off,” he says.

In addition to the team effort, Palermo is clear on what are the success factors: “We have years of experience and huge amounts of data from the Balder area. Thanks to a systematic exploration strategy, our deep understanding of the area, thorough geological processes, and new technology we are able to unlock the true Balder potential.”

Short time to market
The licensees (Vår Energi AS 90% and Mime Petroleum AS 10%) consider the discoveries to be commercial and will assess tie-in to the existing infrastructure in the Balder area.

A King and Prince development project has already started in order to reduce time from discovery to production as much as possible.

“The discoveries fit in well with our area plans and continuous development of the Balder Area as an important production hub for Vår Energi. We are in the process of revitalising the area and these discoveries will increase future value creation,” explains VP Field Development and Projects, Bjørn Thore Ribesen.

Mature area
The exploration wells are located approximately six kilometres north of the Balder field and three kilometres west of the Ringhorne platform.

King/Prince was drilled in PL 027 by Scarabeo 8. The Prince well encountered an oil column of about 35 metres in the Triassic Skagerrak formation within good to moderate reservoir sandstones (2,374 metres below sea level).

The King well discovered a gas column of about 30 metres and a light oil column of about 55 metres with some thick Paleogene injectite sandstone with excellent reservoir properties (2 353 metres below sea level).

An additional King appraisal sidetrack further confirmed a 40-metre gas column and an oil column of about 55 metres of which about 35 metres of massive oil bearing injectite sandstone with excellent reservoir quality.

Vår Energi AS (operator) holds a 90% stake of the license and Mime Petroleum AS is partner with 10%.