Gas discovery near the Aasta Hansteen-field in the Norwegian Sea

Source: press release, 18 January 2023

illustration: NPD
illustration: NPD

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) reports that Equinor Energy AS, operator of production licence 1128, has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 6605/1-2 S and appraisal well 6605/1-2 A.

The wells were drilled around 23 kilometres south of the Irpa field, which is currently being developed in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea, and 350 kilometres west of Sandnessjøen.

The objective of well 6605/1-2 S was to prove petroleum in Upper Cretaceous reservoir rocks in the Springar Formation. The objective of appraisal well 6605/1-2 A was to confirm the discovery in a downfaulted neighbouring segment.

Well 6605/1-2 S encountered three sandstone layers in the Springar Formation, with moderate to good reservoir quality. The uppermost sandstone layer, about ten metres thick, was gas-bearing. In the 35-metre middle sandstone layer, a 2-metre gas column was encountered, and the gas/water contact was proven at about 3190 metres below sea level. The lowest sandstone layer was 25 metres thick and water-bearing.

Well 6605/1-2 A proved a 12-metre gas column in the uppermost sandstone layer, with moderate to good reservoir quality. No gas/water contact was encountered. The deeper sandstone layers are water-bearing.

Pressure data indicates communication both vertically between the three sandstone layers and horizontally between the two wells, in both the water and hydrocarbon zones. The total gas column proven in the two wells amounts to 29 metres.

Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery between 2 and 11 billion standard cubic metres (Sm3) of recoverable gas. The licensees will assess further delineation of the discovery and tie-in to the Irpa field.

The wells were not formation-tested, but extensive data collection and sampling have been carried out.

These are the first and second exploration wells in production licence 1128, which was awarded in APA 2020.

Wells 6605/1-2 S and 6605/1-2 A were drilled to respective vertical depths of 3,330 metres and 3327 metres below sea level and were terminated in the Springar Formation in the Upper Cretaceous.

Water depth at the site is 1,190 metres. The wells have been permanently plugged and abandoned.