Equinor hits oil in the Barents SeaSputnik well location. Source: Equinor

Equinor hits oil in the Barents Sea

Equinor and partners OMV and Petoro have made an oil discovery in the Sputnik exploration well in the Barents Sea. Recoverable resources are preliminarily estimated at 20-65 MMboe.

The NPD reports that Equinor, operator of PL855, has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 7324/6-1, Sputnik prospect, northeast of the Wisting discovery. This is the second exploration well in this license, which was awarded in APA 2016, after Equinor’s 7325/4-1 well (Gemini Nord).

The objective of the well was to prove oil in two reservoirs in the middle part of the Snadd formation from the Late Triassic Age. The secondary objective of the well was to test the reservoir properties in the lower part of the Snadd formation, as well as in a shallower reservoir level in the Stø formation from the Middle Jurassic Age. The exploration targets in the Snadd formation were in fluvial sandstones.

Well 7324/6-1 encountered an approximate 60 m sandstone layer with poor reservoir quality in the upper part of the Snadd formation. The reservoir is aquiferous with traces of oil. The reservoir is at the same stratigraphic level where oil was proven in well 7325/4-1 (Gemini Nord).

In the middle part of the Snadd formation, the well encountered an approximate 15 m oil column with poor reservoir quality. The oil/water contact was encountered in the well at a depth of 1354 m. This reservoir is at a corresponding stratigraphic level as the 7324/3-1 (Intrepid Eagle) gas discovery.

In the lower part of the Snadd formation, the well encountered a 45 m aquiferous sandstone layer with poor reservoir quality. In the Stø formation, the well encountered about 20 m of aquiferous sandstone with good reservoir quality.

According to Equinor, in 2017 the Gemini Nord well resulted in a very small, uncommercial oil and gas discovery in a reservoir channel system within the PL855 licence. In 2018, a larger channel complex was targeted in the neighbouring PL615 licence, with the Intrepid Eagle well. This well proved a 200 m gas column, but no oil. The Sputnik well has proven oil in a large channel system.

Nick Ashton, Equinor’s Senior VP for Exploration in Norway and the UK, comments: “Detailed fluid analysis combined with geological and geophysical mapping will be carried out to fully understand the commercial potential of the Sputnik discovery. If confirmed that the structure comprises volumes that can be recovered in a commercially viable way, the partnership will assess possible development solutions”.