New ventures in the Norwegian SeaNigel Marsh, Subsurface Director at INEOS Oil and Gas, spoke at the NCS Exploration Strategy 2019 conference. Photo: Ronny Setså

New ventures in the Norwegian Sea

– We have been building an exploration team in Norway and are gearing up our exploration efforts on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), said Nigel Marsh, Subsurface Director at INEOS Oil and Gas, at the NCS Exploration Strategy 2019 conference in Stavanger on November 21th.

INEOS is an oil and gas company operating in Norway, Denmark and the UK. They currently produce 85 000 barrels of oil equivalents per day (boepd), with 47 000 boepd sourced from the NCS.

Their key producing asset in Norway is a 14 % stake in the Shell operated Ormen Lange gas and condensate field.

Over the next 5 years, INEOS plans to drill up to 16 exploration and infill wells (3 operated)  in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea.

– New ventures on the NCS includes the Aragorn and Fat Canyon prospects, both located in the Norwegian Sea, Marsh said.

Fat Canyon is a drill ready opportunity located updip from Fenja. Fenja is an oil and gas field with approximately 97 million barrels of oil equivalents operated by Neptune Energy and has a planned production start in 2021.

– Fat Canyon is an Upper Jurassic pinch-out play, with the main risk currently being the trap. Based on our volume estimates, it has a stand alone potential.

Several wellls drilled in the area has shows/traces of hydrocarbons in pre-Cretaceous sediments.

Their second high risk, high reward target is the Aragorn prospect. According to Marsh, Aragorn is an analogue of the Ormen Lange field with a potential shallow gas anomaly within diatomite ooze.

The key difference is that the Ormen Lange main reservoir is located within sandstones below the ooze, while the Aragorn reservoir is found within the ooze itself.

The Aragorn reservoir play is unproven in Norway, and producibility is a key uncertainty at the moment.

– While the permeabilities are expected to be very low (0,1 – 10 mD), the total porosity may be very high (40 – 60 %).

Marsh mentioned however, that a similar onshore oil field is currently producing in the US with the assistance of fracking and water injection and a high well density.

The INEOS geologists have also studied outcrops of diatomite ooze deposits onshore in Denmark to learn more about their producibility properties.

The next step for INEOS at Aragorn is seismic aquisition. Decisions on drilling and seismics aquisition at Fat Canyon and Aragorn will be made in early 2020.

Other INEOS ventures on the NCS includes the Byhaugen and Edelgran prospects.