Hands-on explorationHenrik Jakobsen, MOL Norge. Photo: Ronny Setså

Hands-on exploration

MOL Norge has changed its exploration strategy to become an active driller in order to increase its shrinking reserves.

– We have completely changed our modus operandi when it comes to exploration in Norway, said Henrik Jakobsen, Group SVP Exploration at MOL Norge, at the NCS Exploration Strategy 2019 conference in Stavanger in November.

The company, which is exclusively focused on the North Sea, has gone from being a passive a “desktop prospect generator” in the 2015 – 2017 period to a hands-on “drilling execution company” in the 2018 – 2020 period. The goal was, and still is, to increase the reserves.

As a part of this strategic shift, the company started to drill its own operated exploration wells. The exploration focus has been the Mandal High, where the company drilled two dry wells (one in 2018, and one in 2019).

The next well at the Mandal High is scheduled to be drilled in the autumn of 2020. The company estimates that the PL 617 Eidsvoll prospect in Upper Jurassic lobe complex has the potential to hold a 100 + mmboe resource. The well is targeted to drill through two of the lobes in the complex.

MOL is about to finish the exploration well 25/8-19 S including side track 25/8-19 A, in PL 820 S, targeting the Evra and Iving prospects in the central North Sea. Results have not been communicated as of yet.

According to Jakobsen, there are several stacked prospects in the licence, with an estimated resource potential of 100+ mmboe. The Eving prospect is a four-way closure trap, while the Evra prospect is an injectite complex above Iving. The well was planned to penetrate both of the prospects.

MOL Norges Exploration Growth Strategy is an integral part of the MOL Group’s 2030 strategy to deliver reserves replacement and an increased reserves/production ratio while sustaining/growing the current production level of 110 000 boed.

So far, the company’s Norwegian branch has been unsuccessful in its exploration efforts with only a non-commercial discovery in the non-operated Kark well. The upcoming wells may change this.

The company also holds a 10 % interest in the Trell discovery east of the Heimdal field. Trell is expected to start producing in 2022.