Despite fewer wildcats than the previous year, NCS oil and gas exploration turned out good results in 2020.
This was one of the key messages that oil director Ingrid Sølvberg gave in her presentation “The Shelf 2020” last week.
Although around 50 exploration wells were planned last year, only 31 exploration wells were spudded. 14 discoveries were made, 7 in the North Sea and 7 in the Norwegian Sea, giving a success rate of about 50%.
This year, NPD expects that around 40 exploration wells will be drilled.
Discoveries on the NCS in 2020 ranked according to assumed mid-point volumes. Ingrid Sølvberg made it clear that it appears to be very attractive to explore close to existing infrastructure. No discoveries were made in frontier acreage.
Sølvberg highlighted that one company has been far more successful than the others.
The oil director made reference to the Ekofisk discovery made by Phillips in 1969. It has often been referred to as a Christmas gift to the Norwegian people as it was announced December 23. Last year, Sølvberg continued, ConocoPhillips delivered another Christmas gift through the discovery of Slagugle which turned out to be the biggest discovery on the NCS last year (expronews.com: “Biggest discovery this year”). This came on top of the Warka discovery (expronews.com: “ConocoPhillips announces sizeable discovery in the Norwegian Sea”) that was announced in November.
“ConocoPhillips was undeniably the most successful operator, proving 257 MMboe that makes up 44% of the total.”
Sølvberg also emphasized that ConocoPhillips has been very successful lately by making 4 discoveries out of 5 wildcats the last 16 months.
“This is a result of laborious exploration that ended up being very fruitful,” Sølvberg claimed.
Moreover, she gave credit to ConocoPhillips as a company for seeing opportunities, having competent staff and for being patient.
Before Sølvberg said this, GeoPublishing and Wittemann E&P consulting had chosen ConocoPhillips Norway as “Explorer of the Year (2020)” (expronews.com: “Explorer of the Year 2020”, “Based on a focused strategy”).
“Being operator of two significant discoveries offshore Mid-Norway (6507/4-1 (Warka) and 6507/5-10 (Slagugle)), in addition to one small discovery in the North Sea (25/7-8 (Enniberg)), ConocoPhillips was by far the most successful oil company operating on the NCS in 2020.”
The Slagugle accumulation on the Sør High – with an oil column of 270 meters and possibly 200 MMbo of recoverable oil – appears to be sourced from a deeply buried Spekk Fm due west of the high, according to an interpretation by ConocoPhillips on data from the PGS survey MC3D-HVG2011. Note that the Middle Jurassic prospective sandstones are eroded in this location. Courtesy of PGS, ConocoPhillips and Pandion.