Neptune Energy has announced the start of drilling at its Ofelia appraisal well in the Norwegian North Sea.
The Ofelia discovery (PL 929) was made in August 2022 and is located around 9 miles north of the Neptune-operated Gjøa field.
The well was spudded early last year, and in August Neptune announced that preliminary estimates of recoverable volumes could be in the range of 2.5-6.2 million cubic metres of gas, or 16-39 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).
The new well aims to appraise and fully evaluate the hydrocarbon discovery in the Ofelia Agat formation, while a secondary target will see it evaluate an upside of gas-charged reservoir in the shallower Kyrre Formation.
The well, 35/6-4 S, is being drilled by the semi-submersible Deepsea Yantai, owned by CIMC and operated by Odfjell Drilling.
The main reservoir target is the Lower Cretaceous Agat Formation and is expected to be reached at a depth of approximately 2,530m.
Partners include operator Neptune (40%), Wintershall Dea (20%), Pandion Energy (20%), Aker BP (10%), and DNO (10%).
Neptune Energy’s director of subsurface in Norway, Steinar Meland, said: “The Ofelia discovery fits our strategy of focusing on opportunities within core areas near existing infrastructure.
“The Ofelia discovery could be tied back to the Neptune-operated Gjøa platform and produce at less than half the average carbon intensity of Norwegian Continental Shelf fields.”
The well could be one of the last one the company drills in Norway under its current incarnation, ahead of its formal acquisition by Italian supermajor Eni.
Announced in June after months of speculation, the $4.9bn deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2024.
Norwegian operator Var Energi, which is majority owned by Eni, will take on Neptune’s assets on that side of the North Sea, while its German business will be carved out and operated as a standalone.