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Larger than expected: oil and gas discovery near the Njord field – 6406/12-3 S

Posted 10. Apr 2014.

VNG Norge AS, operator of production licence 586, has concluded the drilling of exploration well 6406/12-3 S. The test results indicate a discovery far larger than expected.

The well was drilled on the Halten Terrace, about 33 kilometres southwest of the Njord field.

The main objective of the well was to test the hydrocarbon potential in the Pil prospect, up-dip from the offset well 6406/12-1 S. The primary reservoir target was Upper Jurassic sandstones of the Rogn and Melke formations.

The well encountered a 91 metre gas column and a 135 metre oil column in Upper Jurassic sandstones. Preliminary analyses based on extensive coring, wireline logs and pressure data show that the well has encountered sandstones with very good reservoir properties.

An extensive data acquisition program was carried out in the well, including a successful production test. The production rate was 1067 Sm3 oil per flow day through a 56/64-inch nozzle. The test showed good flow properties and the gas/oil ratio was 152 Sm3/Sm3. Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery at between 8 and 27 million Sm³ recoverable oil equivalents with a considerable additional upside volume within the Pil closure not proven by the well.

Production licence 586 was awarded on 4 February 2011 (APA 2010) and this was the first well to be drilled in the licence. 6406/12-3 S was drilled to a vertical depth of 3738 meters below sea level, and was terminated in the Upper Jurassic Melke formation. The water depth is 324 meters. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.

Well 6406/12-3 S was drilled by the Transocean Arctic drilling facility, which will now first drill a a down dip sidetrack to prove up the lateral extent of the Pil reservoir and the upside case.

This will be followed by a further sidetrack to assess the potential of the neighbouring Bue target.

VNG Norge is the operator in PL586 with a 30 % share. Partners are Spike Exploration (30 %), Faroe Petroleum Norge (25 %) and Rocksource Exploration Norway (15 %).

Atle Sonesen, managing director of VNG Norge: “With this well, we have proved that we are capable of planning and carrying out efficient and safe drilling operations. In addition, we have shown that we have the competence and the capability to build good exploration models which enable us to make commercial discoveries in mature areas. Preliminary results from the well are very promising, and the area will therefore now be seen with fresh eyes. The potential in and outside the licence can be large, and it goes without saying that VNG will play a prominent part in this area in the future. We are now looking forward to drilling sidetracks in Pil and Bue, which we expect to give us additional information in order to assess the commerciality of the discovery. We are very pleased, and we hope that this is the beginning of a good and long history, both for VNG, our licence partners and other players in the area. Although we have not completed the drilling operation yet, we are already looking ahead and planning the drilling of a new well in PL586 next year."