Renewed E&P activity in the SW Barents Sea – geology, exploration history and 2022 interest – IHS Markit

Obtain the data you need to make the most informed decisions by accessing our extensive portfolio of information, analytics, and expertise. Sign in to the product or service center of your choice.
Find the solutions you need by accessing our extensive portfolio of information, analytics and expertise. The IHS Markit team of subject matter experts, analysts and consultants offers the actionable intelligence you need to make informed decisions.
Critical analysis and guidance spanning the world’s most important business issues.
Stay abreast of changes, new developments and trends in their industry.
A global team of industry-recognized experts contributes incisive and thought-provoking analysis.
Broaden your knowledge by attending IHS Markit events that feature our subject-matter experts. Find webinars, industry briefings, conferences, training and user groups.
During COVID-19, IHS Markit is offering more online events for the safety of our guests.
IHS Markit will resume our in-person events once it is safe to do so.
Missed an event or webinar? Review the recordings of past online events.
IHS Markit is the leading source of information and insight in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Customers around the world rely on us to address strategic and operational challenges.
The experts and leaders who set the course for IHS Markit and its thousands of colleagues around the world.
Sustainability drives the entire IHS Markit enterprise. It’s how we do business by guiding our values and culture on the notion that we can make a difference.
Join a global business leader that is dedicated to helping businesses make the right decisions. Be a part of a family of professionals who thrive in an exciting work environment.
The renewed interest in the Bjornoyrenna Fault Complex (Figure 1), SW Barents Sea is marked by the two exploration wells, Snofonn North and Skavl Sto, that will be drilled by Equinor in PL 532 during late Q1 – Q2 2022. The exploration history in the SW Barents Sea involves more than 130 exploration wells drilled since 1980 which led to 37 discoveries. In 1980,7119/12-1 (Tromso sub-basin) and 7120/12-1 (Finnmark Platform) comprised the first wells drilled in the area. Both wells were dry with some oil shows having been encountered in 7119/12-1. The Hammerfest Basin followed by the Loppa High and the Bjornoyrenna Fault Complex comprise the areas that have mostly been explored. As expected, more concentrated exploration led to more discoveries in these basins. However, although between the Loppa High and the Bjornoyrenna Fault Complex the least number of wells were drilled in the latter area, these drilling attempts led to more discoveries ranking it in second place.
Barents Sea well locations
Figure 1: Barent Sea basin location map showing the area of interest
Overall, the industry’s exploration interest in this area is undeniable, however it is thought that there is more reluctance to provide approval for drilling projects in the ‘risky’ Barents Sea compared to drilling other parts of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). The complex geological configuration and associated exploration risks are considered the key hindering factors shaping the exploration history of the area of interest.
With regards to the upcoming exploration drilling, Equinor plans to spud its Snofonn North exploration well in March 2022 followed by Skavl Sto. Snofonn North will primarily target the Lower Jurassic Tubaen sandstone while the Upper Triassic Fruholmen Formation comprises the secondary target. Completion of drilling operations in Snofonn North will be followed by spudding of Skavl Sto to test the Lower to Middle Jurassic Sto Formation. The close distance between the proposed locations of these two wells, in combination with the different target formations, raised questions about the drilling plans, thus; a geological approach has been deployed to identify the risks involved.
The stratigraphy of the area of interest also includes the Nordmela sands, which were deposited after the Tubaen and before the Sto. Nordmela sands are proven reservoir rocks in neighboring fields e.g. Johan Castberg. However, integration of the subsurface geology and the presence of eroded fault blocks with the operator’s targets for the proposed wells leads to the assumption either that Nordmela is absent at this location, due to erosional processes, or that it is present but exhibits very poor reservoir quality.
Norway Barents Sea proposed well locations
Figure 2: Proposed well locations map in the SW Barents Sea showing the locations of the discoveries made to date organised in a NE-SW trending band that is believed to follow the Bjornoyrenna Fault System.
Observation of the discoveries to date in the area in plan-view suggests that they are situated in an ”organised” cluster in a NE-SW trending band (Figure 2), which follows the orientation of the Bjornoyrenna Fault System. The geometry of the discoveries suggests that they are hosted in elongate structures, which are aligned to the Bjornoyrenna faults, as expected. Consequently, it is believed that the occasional presence of sharp limits at the edges, with the Skavl discovery field representing a characteristic example, is indicative of fault-bounded structures.
Very limited to no discoveries were made east and west of the ”zone” (Figure 2). East of the fault complex at the Loppa High, the Neiden oil discovery is situated at the northern part of the platform whereas, Alta and Gohta oil and Salina gas were discovered in the southern part. Between Neiden and the ‘cluster’ in the south, there is a large area belonging to PL 1078 where no discoveries have been made to this day. In contrast, all exploration wells drilled west of the fault system at the Veslemoy High and Bjornoya Basin were dry, with the Pinovin gas discovery in the Bjornoya sub-basin comprising the single exception.
There is no doubt about the presence of a working petroleum system in the area.
For extensive analysis of the exploration history of SW Barents Sea, the geological development of the area and the associated key structural features as well as the impact on the petroleum system and planned exploration drilling, customers can view the full report in GEPS.
Clients can also find extensive information about the operations in Snofonn North and Skavl Sto wells in the dedicated articles in GEPS.
Posted 01 March 2022 by Anastasia Polymeni, Senior Technical Research Analyst and Exploration Scout, IHS Markit
#ASEAN estimates show #coal and #naturalgas will account for almost 70% of new power capacity expansion in Southeas… https://t.co/wkgUPL8ikJ
Download our new study that reveals the life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of crude oil in the US, providing… https://t.co/PnttR81yqv
RT @SPGlobal: “#ESG needs to become more standardized. For ESG, it’s time to become more transparent.” Doug Peterson joined the @CNBC “Half…
Data is critical. But not only #data: it’s crucial having access to its right analysis. Join us on April 6th as we’… https://t.co/TPU41Zd8uG


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button