500 % increase in explorationistsRhoar Lindanger, Head of Business Development and Interim Director Exploration & Development at Neptune Energy, spoke at the NCS Exploration Strategy 2019 conference in Stavanger. Photo: Ronny Setså

500 % increase in explorationists

– We have seen a major revitalization of our exploration department with a 500 % increase in the number of explorationists and currently sit on a portfolio with many exploration opportunities, said Rhoar Lindanger, Head of Business Development and Interim Director Exploration & Development at Neptune Energy at the NCS Exploration Strategy 2019 conference in Stavanger on November 20th.

Neptune was founded in 2015 and has production and exploration activities in eight countries. Through three recent acquisitions (2018: ENGIE portfolio, 2019: VNG and expected closure in 2020: Edison) on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), Norway has become the most important country for Neptune in terms of production.

In 2018, Neptune produced 160 000 barrels of oil per day (boepd), and the NCS contributed approximately half of this.

According to Lindanger, Neptune’s ambition is a global production rate of 200 000 boepd by 2025. Some of this increase will come from the NCS.

– As we, besides our ambition to grow, also face a decline in the existing base portfolio, we have set a target of 30 mmboe in new discoveries yearly. This means we will be an active explorer and we expect 16 – 20 wells being drilled on the NCS over the next 18 months.

Seven wells will be drilled in core areas with operated exploration wells at Grind (near Heidrun), Dugong (near Snorre), Hamlet (near Gjøa) and Eirik (near Gudrun).

Grind has an upside potential of 500 mmboe, while Dugong may represent a new core area for Neptune.

Non-operated exploration wells include Echino South and Sigrun East.

Echino South was recently drilled, and operator Equinor announced a discovery of 38 – 100 mmboe.

Hydrocarbons were proved in both the primary and secondary exploration targets (Sognefjord Formation and Brent Group). A sidetrack well is being drilled to delineate the discovery in the primary target.

– We are inspired by this discovery and are looking forward to uncover more of the upside potential in the Fram licence.

Another recently non-operated drilled well, Skumnisse, turned out to be dry.

– Our exploration strategy is based on consolidation in core areas, and we aim to focus 60 % of our portfolio on infrastructure driven exploration (ILX), 20 % on growth opportunities and 20 % on high-volume opportunities (200+ mmboe).

Neptune Energy operates in Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Algeria, Egypt, Australia and Indonesia. The company is 100 % owned by private investors.