5 UK wells for EquinorThe West Phoenix drilling rig. (Photo: Seadrill)

5 UK wells for Equinor

Equinor started its 2019 drilling campaign offshore UK. Two exploration wells are currently drilling: Bigfoot, which is operated by Equinor and Rowallan by operator ENI.

Equinor started a 2019 exploration well campaign on the UKCS. The first well is currently being drilled on the Bigfoot prospect, located south of the Mariner field in licence P2314. Mariner is an Equinor-operated field development due to start production later this year. Equinor is also partner in the Rowallan high impact well, spudded by operator ENI in December in P1620(read more in “High impact discovery renews interest in HPHT play”). Equinor recently acquired an 8% interest in this license northwest of the Culzean field.

Equinor’s assets and licenses on the UKCS (source Equinor)

The second operated well in Equinor’s drilling campaign is on the Pip prospect, located in the Fladen Ground Spur area in the East of Shetland in licence P2318. Then the drilling rig will move to drill an appraisal well on the Verbier discovery. The results of the appraisal well will help refine the current estimated volumes which range between 25 and 130 million barrels of oil equivalent according to Equinor.

Verbier discovery

Verbier is located on the outer Moray Firth in the ‘North Buchan Trough’ and was discovered in 2017. The main wellbore encountered a water-filled sand and the decision was made to drill a sidetrack to assess the remaining potential up-dip. The sidetrack hit oil proving a minimum of 25 million recoverable barrels of oil.

Verbier J64 Fan outline – pre-drill and location of seismic line A-A’ (Figure from Jersey Oil and Gas)


Seismic section A-A’ across the Verbier prospect (pre drill 20/5b-13 and -13Z discovery) (Figure from Jersey Oil and Gas)

The Verbier gross recoverable oil resources are estimated to range between 25 and 130MMboe. This wide range in resources reflects the uncertainty in the reservoir mapping, the nature of the sandstone geobodies and particularly the net-to-gross and the resultant net pay. Verbier was mapped and drilled on conventional seismic and therefore Equinor contracted PGS to shoot new Broadband 3D data across Verbier. The new broadband seismic was needed to interpret the basin infill of the Upper Jurassic: more accurate identification of sequence boundaries and the recognition and mapping of individual sandstone reservoir geobodies, variably bounded by potential intra reservoir mudstone units that act as dynamic barriers, as was found in the case of Buzzard. (Buzzard and Verbier, PESGB). This helps to mitigate reservoir presence risk in Verbier. In turn it will allow a more accurate STOOIP and Reserves to be estimated and to choose the optimal location for the appraisal well.

The Verbier partners in part blocks 20/1b and 21/5d are Equinor (70%), Jersey Oil and Gas U.K. (18%) and CIECO V&C (UK) (12%).

Finally, the fifth planned well for Equinor in 2019 is a commitment well on the Lifjellet prospect in the Jæren High area in licence P2378, with partner Shell.

Interested in the exploration wells in the UK? Read about the other exploration wells planned for 2019 in “UK wildcats for 2019”.

Equinor in the UK – Key Facts

  • Equinor is the largest supplier of crude oil to the UK and the largest supplier of natural gas.
  • Equinor’s gas supplies meet more than 25% of UK demand, enough to heat or power 8 million British homes and businesses every year.
  • Equinor’s operated offshore wind farms (Sheringham Shoal, Dudgeon and Hywind Scotland) together supply electricity to 650,000 UK homes. Hywind Scotland is the first floating offshore wind park in the world and is partnered with Batwind, the world’s first battery for offshore wind.
  • Equinor is currently developing Mariner, one of the largest upstream investments in the UK in the last 10 years – a gross investment of more than GBP 4.5 billion.
  • Equinor is one of the most active explorers in the UK. A three-well campaign is on its way. In May, Equinor was awarded nine new licences in the 30th Offshore Licensing round, eight as operator.
  • Equinor, with its partner SSE, is developing the Dogger Bank offshore wind project which has the potential to provide around 10% of the UK’s total electricity needs. Once fully developed it will be one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.