Testing Presto on the Måløy SlopeAVO anomaly NE of quadrant 35 (picture CGG)

Testing Presto on the Måløy Slope

Equinor has spudded well 36/1-3 in the Norwegian North Sea.

The Presto prospect in PL 885 (Equinor operator 20%, Cairn 30%, Wellesley 30% and Petoro 20%) targets the Early Cretaceous Agat Play on the Måløy Slope. According to partner Cairn Energy, Presto has standalone potential in case of a discovery with estimated resources of 160MMboe. That would be excellent news for the area because right now, infrastructure is quite far away. Equinor is finally planning the development of the Peon discovery, 40km to the west of well 36/1-3 according to Petro.no. Further to the south there is also Neptune Energy’s Duva project but that will be tied back to Gjøa.

The operations will last 35 days, or 52 days if a discovery is made.

Location of well 36/1-3 (Presto).

The Cara discovery from 2016, known as Duva after the PDO was submitted (Read “Cara developed as Duva”), is the reason why the Agat play is revived now. With well 36/7-4 Engie E&P Norge proved oil and gas in a stratigraphic pinch-out trap of Agat sandstones. The well encountered a 50m gas column and 60m oil column. Reservoir quality ranges from very good in the top section to good in the lower section and a formation test showed very good production and flow properties. In 2017, Engie increased the estimates for Cara to 56 – 94 MMboe. Read more about the story behind Cara here.

Seismic section through Cara (well 36/7-4). Figure from CGG.

The fact that the stratigraphic trap at Cara worked and contains oil and not only gas gave new hope for the area around the Agat discovery as well. Agat was originally discovered in 1980 with gas/condensate-bearing Agat sandstones in well 35/3-2, 36/3-4 and 35/3-7S in 2009. AVO anomalies, from light hydrocarbons in Agat sandstones can be seen on the seismic both for Agat and Cara. Whether there is such an anomaly on Presto, we do not know.

AVO class III anomalies in the Agat Formation in the NE part of quadrant 35 (Figure CGG)

Agat has been looked at several times but for the time being it is labelled as “production not likely” by the NPD. The license which contains Agat, PL 884, consists of the same partnership as PL 885 except Petoro and with Wellesley Petroleum as operator. There is a drill-or-drop decision to be taken in the license this year so there might be coming up another exploration well in the area.