Momentum is building in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea with a fresh and potentially commercial condensate discovery and approvals granted for two further exploration wells.
ENI of Italy is the latest to achieve success, having located gas-condensate with its first Salina prospect well, which was drilled into the west flank of the formation’s Loppa High.
Lundin Petroleum, partner to Eni in the project, reported that the block 7220/10 well was drilled to a total depth of 2,371m (7,779ft) below mean sea level by the rig Scarabeo 8 and that the probe encountered two gas columns in sandstone of Cretaceous and Jurassic age.
Data acquisition in the well, including coring, wireline logging, and fluid sampling, has indicated good reservoir quality in the sandstone.
Preliminary calculations, made by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, suggest that the Salina prospect may hold recoverable reserves of gas-condensate in the range 176.6-247billion cu ft.
Meanwhile, Lundin has been given clearance to drill the Juksa and Snurrevad prospects using the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Arctic.
Expectation is that work on the 7120/6-3S well will start imminently.
The drill-site lies north-northwest of the Statoil-operated Snohvit field. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has said that the drilling programme is for the drilling of one wildcat well.
This will be the first exploration well to be drilled on licence PL490, which comprises parts of blocks 7120/4, 7120/5, and 7120/6. Lundin Norway is the operator with 60% interest in partnership with Spring Energy Norway and the Norwegian Energy Company (Noreco), each with 20%.
The second of the Barents approvals covers exploratory drilling by Repsol and others on the Darwin prospect with the Transocean Arctic expected to start work in December, subject to satisfactory progress on the Lundin well.
The target site is located about 25km south of Statoil’s Havis discovery in block 7220/7, where the wildcat will target potential oil in the Torsk and Kveite-Kolmule formations.
The anticipated total depth will be some 2,540m (8,334ft), with the well expected to require 50 days to drill.
Repsol holds a 20% interest in PL531 and the Darwin well and is the operator on behalf of partners Talisman (25%), Concedo (20%), RWE Dea (15%), Marathon (10%), and Det Norske Oljeselskap with 10%.
Faroe Petroleum has recently concluded an agreement with Talisman, however, to obtain half its interest or 12.5%, leaving Talisman with the other 12.5%.