Westwood Global Energy reports that there were two exploration wells active as of 29 November. A total of six appraisal wells and 27 exploration wells have completed to date in 2021, from which ten commercial discoveries have been made giving a 37% commercial success rate to date.
The 24/12-7 Lyderhorn East exploration well was completed by Aker BP on the 4 November with the Deepsea Stavanger semi sub. The well was targeting deep water, mass flow sandstones of the Hermod and Heimdal Formations of late Paleocene age, in a low relief four-way dip closed structure. The well encountered a 38m (125ft) oil column in 20m (66ft) of Paleocene Hermod Formation sandstone. The OWC was encountered at 2,132m TVDSS. The secondary Paleocene Heimdal Formation sandstones was water wet. Post drill resources of 5 mmbbls have been reported which is seen as non-commercial.
Equinor spudded the 35/10-7 S Toppand exploration well on 2 November with the West Hercules semi sub. The well is targeting oil in the Middle Jurassic Etive and Oseberg Formations in the Brent Group and the Lower Jurassic Cook Formation in the Dunlin Group, in a faulted structural trap. The well is located c. 11 km to the west of the Fram Field which would be the most likely tie back solution if successful. The well has a c. 30-day dry hole duration.
Aker BP completed the 7/11-14 S Mugnetind exploration well on 31 October with the Maersk Integrator jack-up. The well encountered hydrocarbons in the Upper Jurassic Ula Formation which had a gross thickness of 28m (92ft) and 14m (46ft) net sandstone of moderate to good quality. The reservoir is thinner than expected and had a thick coal layer beneath the reservoir, presumably the Middle Jurassic Byrne Formation. Volumes have been quoted by partners Longboat Energy as 5 – 11 mmboe and the discovery is considered to be non-commercial.
PGNiG spudded the 6306/3-1 S Fat Canyon high impact exploration well on the 30 September with the Borgland Dolphin Semi-sub rig. PGNiG announced a deal on 25 March 2021 to acquire all of INEOS’s 21 licences in Norwegian for US$323 million and this was given NPD approval on 24 September with the deal completing on 30 September. The well is targeting Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic sandstones of the Lyr and Rogn Formations in an incised valley or canyon fill. The well was a predicted 40-day dry hole duration.
There is no current E&A drilling in the Barents Sea. The next exploration well in the region is expected to be on Vår Energi’s Lupa prospect in 2022.