In a press release issued on Monday 6th July, the NPD announced that well 7321/8-2S did not prove hydrocarbons.
The so-called Sandia well targeted Middle Jurassic to Upper Triassic reservoirs of the Stø, Fruholmen and Snadd Formations. Whilst all reservoirs were proven, they all turned out to be water-bearing. In the secondary target – Lower Cretaceous Kolje Formation sandstones – only traces of petroleum were found. The well was drilled to a total depth of 1874 m.
7321/8-2S was the first exploration well to be drilled in production licence 719, which was awarded in the 2013 during the 22nd licensing round. In 2018, Spirit drilled Scarecrow (7322/7-1) 15 km to the southwest of the Sandia well in order to test the Kolje Formation, but this well disappointed too.
For some people, the outcome of this well hardly comes as a surprise. As can be read more fully in this Expronews article, researchers from EMGS had already predicted the outcome of the well as it was drilled on a CSEM negative. Based on an analysis of Barents Sea discoveries so far, as well as dry holes, EMGS concluded that CSEM is a good predictive tool in the basin.