Home Equinor doubles Norne reserves with its latest oil discovery

Equinor doubles Norne reserves with its latest oil discovery

4 October 2018 to 05: 18
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Norwegian oil company Equinor has struck oil at the Cape Vulture discovery appraisal well. The well, located in the Norwegian Sea, and drilled by the Songa Encourage rig, confirms a volume potential of 50-70 million recoverable barrels of oil.

According to Equinor, the discovery more than doubles the remaining oil reserves to be produced in the Norne field. “Originally planned to close in 2014, Norne's productive life has already been extended to 2036, which will lead to substantial spin-offs. This discovery will increase production in the coming years. Further maturing of field development has the potential for additional Cape Vulture recoverable reserves,” Equinor said.

“We are delighted to have tasted and assessed a substantial new oil discovery off the coast of Nordland. The appraisal well confirms a new play in the Nordland Range in the Norwegian Sea,” says Nick Ashton, senior vice president, Equinor, Exploration, Norway and UK.

“The discovery demonstrates the importance of our new exploration strategy. We intend to take new approaches and experiment with new and untested ideas to unlock the remaining commercial resources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). This is in line with Equinor's updated roadmap for the NCS, which aims to secure activity for decades to come,” says Ashton.

More potential around Norne

“The Cape Vulture discovery also opens up additional opportunities in the area. As an immediate consequence, next year we will drill a well at a similar prospect in the Nordland Ridge region. We are also maturing other opportunities for the coming years that could help substantially increase reserves around the Norne field,” adds Ashton.

The assessment of the Cape Vulture discovery is now most likely completed, Equinor said on Tuesday. The Norne license partnership will progress discovery to a development decision. The discovery demonstrates that considerable resources can still be recovered through existing infrastructure on the NCS, the oil company added.

Siri Espedal Kindem, Equinor Senior Vice President, Operations North, says: “New data and creative exploration ideas generate resources, new revenue for society and important jobs in Northern Norway. Cape Vulture came as a gift in early 2017, and it confirmed that subsurface secrets are yet to be unlocked in the Norne area. ”

“Our exploration people have been surveying the area for over 40 years and they are still cracking codes.”

Norne was the first development field outside of Nordland, coming on stream in 1997. The remaining recoverable oil reserves in the fields that produce through the Norne FPSO (apart from the Norne field, this is Alve, Urd, Skuld and Marulk) are currently estimated at approximately 40 million barrels. There are also recoverable gas reserves corresponding to around 80 million barrels of oil equivalent still in existence in these five fields, according to Equinor.

The Cape Vulture discovery is located 7 km northwest of the production vessel in the Norne field.

“Even at an early stage of development planning, this discovery will more than double the oil resources produced by Norne's infrastructure by 2036, which we are very pleased to see. This is a great day for the Norwegian Sea and for industry in Northern Norway,” adds Kindem.

“Exploration results like Cape Vulture are essential for Equinor. We will explore this type of resources in the coming years. Discoveries like this will be critical in supporting our ambition to extend the lifespan of existing infrastructure,” says Nick Ashton.

Exploration drilling on the Cape Vulture well (6608/10-17S) began in early December 2016. Drilling of the appraisal well, including side rails (6608/10-18, 6608/10-18B and 6608/10 -18C ), started in mid-July 2017. The wells were drilled in production license 128, resulting from the production license 128D granted in the APA round (award in pre-defined areas) in 2015. The Cape Vulture appraisal well was drilled by the Songa Encourage rig.

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