Aker BP’s exploration plans for 2020Hyrnefjellet, Svalbard, with its Late Paleozoic to Mesozoiz succesion. Photo: Terje Solbakk.

Aker BP’s exploration plans for 2020

Aker Bp presented their ten-wells exploration campaign on the Capital Markets day (Kapitalmarkedsdagen) on February 11th.

In 2019, Aker BP participated in 16 exploration wells, increasing the Aker BP resource portfolio by 170 MMboe, with a cost of 0,6 $ per boe discovered.

In 2020, Aker BP plans to continue their exploration with ten wells, as stated in the Capital Markets Day presentation (Norwegian). These wells are distributed between the Utsira High and NOAKA areas in the North Sea, the Skarv area in the Norwegian Sea and finally four wells in the larger Barents Sea. The Barents Sea wells are classified as High Risk, High Potential, according to Aker BP.

Exploration wells of Aker BP in 2020. Map: norskpetroleum.no

The resource expectancy is ~320 MMboe net unrisked (net = meaning Aker BPs share), whereas net risked is ~90 MMboe.

The Utsira High area awaits the Sørvesten wildcat targeting Middle to Late Jurassic sandstones of the Vestland Gp in PL 780 north of the Ivar Aasen field, with operator Spirit Energy. Further south, they target the Merckx wildcat in PL 981 down-flank from the 16/4-6 S (Solveig, earlier named Luno II) discovery. Lundin is the operator in PL 981. Net volumes are indicated around 70-80 MMboe in total for both prospects.

The Liatårnet appraisal well (PL 442) in the NOAKA area east of the closed-down Frigg field, will shed some light on the largest discovery on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) in 2019. Preliminary estimates are between 80- 200 MMboe in the Skade Fm of Miocene age.

Garantiana W in Equinor-operated PL 554, NE of the Tampen Spur, likely targets oil in sandstones of Early Jurassic age in the Cook Fm as in 34/6-2 S (Garantiana) which holds approximately 65 MMboe. The nearby technical discovery 34/6-3 A (Akkar) proved 3 MMboe of oil in 2014 in the same Fm. Garantiana West targets ~ net 20 MMboe.

The on-going 6506/5-1 S (Nidhogg) in PL 1008 well SW of the Skarv field target gas condensates in sandstones of the Lysing Fm of the Upper Cretaceous. This well was spudded in late January. To the North of Skarv, the Alve East prospect likely targets oil and gas from sandstones of Early and Middle Jurassic age in the Båt and Fangst Groups (Tilje, Not and Garn Formations). The Nidhogg pre-drill estimate ranges between 37-96 MMboe. Alve NE aims for a more modest pre-drill estimate of 8-25 MMboe.

The Barent Sea’s most interesting prospect might be the Stangnestind in the self-operated PL 858 next to the Russian border on the Fedinsky High. Here, they target karstified carbonates of the Gipsdalen Group of Late Carboniferous to Permian age. Karst discoveries have so far proven difficult on the NCS, with the Gohta and Alta discoveries recently put on hold regarding further development. Stangnestind’s pre-drill estimate is between 13-108 MMboe.

The well on Shenzhou on the Bjarmeland Platform in Equinor-operated PL 722 has been in the waiting line for some years now. This is the first well in this corner of the Bjarmeland Platform just North of the Loppa High and Maud Basin. This well likely target karstified(?) Late-Paleozoic reservoirs but also other reservoir levels are of interest. The Shenzhou pre-drill estimate is between 191-505 MMboe.

The Sandia​ prospect in the Spirit-operated PL 719 is to be drilled in the Bjørnøya East area, targeting Realgrunnen Group in the Fingerdjupet Sub-basin. Two earlier wildcats within present-day license area, drilled by Hydro in the 80s, saw shows in Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic rocks. The Sandia pre-drill estimate is between 23-527 MMboe.

Finally, the Lundin-operated Bask prospect south of Johan Castberg, in the PL 533 which already saw the small discovery 7219/12-1 (Filicudi) of ~20 MMboe on the Polhem Sub-platform. The reservoir here is the Tubåen Formation of the Late Triassic. Bask’s pre-drill estimate ranges between 14-585 MMboe.

Table: Overview of Aker BP’s prospect planned to be drilled in 2020 (tentative).