Snefrid Nord discovery

Published:  29 April, 2015

A gas discovery in the Snefrid Nord prospect in the Norwegian Sea has been made by Statoil together with PL218 partners. The discovery is an important contribution to the Aasta Hansteen field development project and Polarled pipeline utilisation. ODEE reports.

“The Snefrid Nord discovery increases the resource base for the Aasta Hansteen field development project by around 15%”, says Irene Rummelhoff, senior vice president exploration Norway in Statoil.

The Snefrid Nord discovery is located in the deep-water Vøring area in the immediate proximity of the three gas discoveries comprising the Aasta Hansteen field development: Luva, Haklang and Snefrid South.

The discovery well 6706/12-2, drilled by Transocean Spitsbergen, proved a 105-metre gas column in the Nise Formation. Statoil estimates the volumes in Snefrid Nord to be in the range of 31-57 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent (o.e.).

Statoil is drilling two exploration wells in the vicinity of Aasta Hansteen in 2015, with the aim of proving upside potential in the area. After completing Snefrid Nord, Transocean Spitsbergen will move to the neighbouring licence PL602 and drill an exploration well in the Roald Rygg prospect.

“Near-field exploration is the main focus of our Norwegian continental shelf exploration programme in 2015. By proving additional timely resources, we extend the production life of our fields and create significant value,” explains Rummelhoff.

Aasta Hansteen will be the largest SPAR platform in the world and is the biggest ongoing field development project in the Norwegian Sea. It is one of the main projects in Statoil’s portfolio. The plan for development and operations (PDO) was approved by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in 2013. Production start-up is expected in 2017.

“The Snefrid Nord discovery makes the Aasta Hansteen development project more robust and prolongs the Aasta Hansteen production plateau. It will utilise both the Aasta Hansteen and the Polarled gas pipeline capacity,” says Torolf Christensen, Statoil vice president for the Aasta Hansteen project.

“The discovery will now be further evaluated for future tie-in to the Aasta Hansteen infrastructure.”

Exploration well 6706/12-2 is situated in PL218 in the Norwegian Sea. Statoil is operator with an interest of 51%. The partners are Wintershall Norge AS (24%), OMV (Norge) AS (15%) and ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS (10%).

The Aasta Hansteen discovery was made in 1997. Together with Haklang and Snefrid Sør, the recoverable resources are estimated at 47 billion standard cubic metres (Sm3) of gas.

Recovering the resources on Aasta Hansteen is demanding as the discovery is located far from land and outside the established infrastructure. The water depth is significant and the weather conditions are challenging.

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