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The 5th Biennial Petroleum Geology Conference

Exploration Revived 2013


Grieghallen, Bergen
18-20 March 2013

www.npf.no

Contents

Abstract

Page

The future of NCS exploration New plays/areas (Key Note) ..................................................................................................... 4


Skrugard a breakthrough in the Barents Sea............................................................................................................................... 6
Play types and prospectivity on and around the Loppa High .....................................................................................................10
Veslemy High, Barents Sea: Geology and plays ..........................................................................................................................11
The Caurus discovery, Barents Sea A new look at the middle Triassic Kobbe formation.......................................................15
Petroleum geology of Nordland VI, VII and Troms II ....................................................................................................................18
Finding Arctic oil giants: How to risk Barents Sea uplift and erosion? .....................................................................................20
F
 rom Heidrun to the Outer Vring Margin:
Lessons learned in search of a westward extension to the prolific Halten Terrace Jurassic oil play .....................................21
Permian stratigraphy of the Southern Nordland Ridge, Haltenbanken: Results from recent exploration drilling ..............24
How innovative thinking can lead to exploration success? (Key Note) .....................................................................................28
The Edvard Grieg Johan Sverdrup exploration history and future area potential ................................................................29
U
 nfolding the complex geology and outline of the giant Johan Sverdrup discovery through
appraisal drilling and subsurface modelling ................................................................................................................................33
The Butch oil discovery ...................................................................................................................................................................37
King Lear: Rewriting the play .........................................................................................................................................................41
Hunting for subtle traps Geology to technology ......................................................................................................................45
T
 he Mamba complex supergiant gas discovery:
An example of turbidite fans modified by deepwater tractive bottom currents ......................................................................50
Successful exploration in mature areas: Recipe from Revus and Agora stories (Key Note) ....................................................51
Revived exploration on the flanks of Troll ....................................................................................................................................52
The 35/9-6S Titan discovery ..........................................................................................................................................................55
The 35/9-7 Skarfjell discovery .......................................................................................................................................................57

Quick tip: Use this table of contents to navigate. Click an abstract to view its first page.

Programme committee

Odd Ragnar Heum, Det norske oljeselskap (chair)


Tim J. Austin, ConocoPhillips Norge
Tore Berg, Agora Oil
Kari Berge, A/S Norske Shell
Marcello Cecchi, Wintershall Norge
Frode Fasteland, Statoil
Kees Jongepier, Svenska Petroleum Exploration
Dag Helland-Hansen, Tellus Petroleum
Jorun M. Ormy, Eni Norge
Jan Strmmen, Maersk Oil Norway
Wenche Tjelta Johansen, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate
Viggo Tjensvoll, Centrica Energi
Hkon sthus, Core Energy

The future of NCS exploration New plays/areas


Sissel Eriksen, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD)

Abstract:
The NPD has revised its resource estimates and quantified the total expected undiscovered
recoverable resources at 2590 million standard cubic metres (Sm3) of oil equivalents (o.e.).
The table below shows the numbers and uncertainty range.
P90

Expected
3

P10
3

mill/bill Sm

mill/bill Sm

mill/bill Sm3

Liquid

630

1400

2450

Gas

525

1190

2100

Total

1290

2590

4400

The previous estimate from 2010 was 20 million Sm3o.e. lower. Approximately 270 million
Sm3 o.e. have been discovered since the previous estimate which means that the NPD has a
more positive view on the undiscovered potential than before.
In the North Sea, the southern part of the Utsira High and the Tampen Spur area account for
the most significant resource estimate changes. The Johan Sverdrup discovery, located on the
southern part of the Utsira High, indicates that there is more oil and less gas in the area than
estimated in 2010. A new play has been defined which reflects this better than previous plays.
As regards the Barents Sea, undiscovered oil resources have been adjusted upwards, and gas
resources have been decreased. This is mainly due to a changed perception of the possibility
of finding oil in the area around Skrugard.
The estimate for the Norwegian Sea has not changed appreciably.
The resource estimates cover the same geographic area as the analysis from 2010 and
previous analyses and does not include the Norwegian part of the previously area with
overlapping claims in the Barents Sea south-east and the waters off Jan Mayen.
During the summers of 2011 and 2012 the NPD accomplished a successful acquisition of 2 D
seismic in the new Norwegian areas in the Barents Sea and on the Jan Mayen Ridge. In 2012
2 D seismic was aquired off the coast of Helgeland. In these areas about 48 000 km of
seismic lines were acquired. In the north eastern part of the the Barents Sea the acquisition
will continue this summer.
Based on the seismic data acquired the NPD has evaluated the petroleum potential and
estimated the undiscovered resources in the southern part of the new area in the Barents Sea
and on the Jan Mayen Ridge. These new estimates are input to the White Paper that is
planned to be forwarded to the parliament before this summer.
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The seismic data that has been acquired off the coast of Helgeland is a part of the
governments Kunnskapsinnhentingen in the northeastern part of the Norwegian Sea. The
result of the evaluation of these data will be presented later this year.

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Abstract:
Skrugard A Breakthrough in the Barents Sea
Bjrn Lindberg (presenter) & Skrugard Exploration Teams in Statoil, Eni Norge & Petoro

Expectations and activity levels have varied considerably since the Barents Sea was opened for
exploration more than 30 years ago. The first discoveries in the Hammerfest Basin (Askeladd, 1981)
caused great optimism, which turned to disappointment and pessimism towards the late 1980s;
discoveries were mainly gas with low commercial value at the time, a dramatic drop in oil price and dry
wells on large structures outside the Hammerfest Basin. After a period of no wells in the late 1990s, the
Goliat discovery in 2000 caused renewed optimism and was the first commercial oil discovery in the
Barents Sea. However, there were still no discoveries of sufficient size for new infrastructure outside of
the Hammerfest Basin.
The PL532 license, regarded as the 20th round golden blocks by the industry, was awarded to Statoil
(Operator, 50%), Eni Norge (30%) and Petoro (20%) in May 2009. Skrugard was classified as an impact
prospect (> 250 mmboe) and became a prioritized drilling candidate for 2011.
The Skrugard discovery in April 2011 represented a breakthrough for exploration activities in the Barents
Sea, and was labeled the most important discovery in ten years on the Norwegian shelf. The discovery
was a result of experience, perseverance, and team work. Up until the discovery, Statoil had participated
in all 87 exploration wells, and operated ~64 of these. Partners Eni Norge and Petoro have also been
among the few stayers with continuous exploration activity in the Barents Sea.
Less than nine months after the Skrugard discovery, the Havis discovery in a neighbouring structure was
made, totaling the proven recoverable oil volumes to 400-600 mmbls in addition to the gas caps. A field
development project was established shortly after the Skrugard discovery, and is presently in the
concept selection phase.
The Lower Middle Jurassic play was unproven in the Bjrnya Basin/Bjrnyrenna Fault Complex until
the Skrugard well was drilled. In the nearby well 7219/9-1 drilled by Norsk Hydro in 1988, there were
good oil shows in the St and Nordmela Formation sandstones, indicating that this structure failed due
to leakage. The trap seal was therefore considered to be the main risk prior to drilling. The Skrugard
discovery well confirmed the top and lateral seal provided by the Fuglen and Kolmule/Kolje formations,
and that these can hold >150 m hydrocarbon column with an overburden of < 900 m.
The Skrugard well proved the presence of a good to excellent reservoir in the St, Nordmela and Tuben
formations. Also in the Fruholmen and the uppermost Snadd formations good sandstones were
encountered, suggesting these formations to be potential reservoirs elsewhere.
The entire license area is covered with 3D seismic. Direct Hydrocarbon Indicators (DHIs), prominent on
Skrugard, present on Havis, and, in hindsight, somewhat more dubious on the dry 7219/9-1 structure
were recognised. As such, important calibration points for the geophysical observations are established.
DHIs of varying strength and confidence have also been identified in numerous other structures within

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the license boundaries. These include flat-spots, amplitude conformance, intra-reflectivity brightening,
and AVO anomalies.
On the basis of the seismic assessment, prospect ranking was performed and decision to drill Skrugard
was made. Before the Skrugard well was drilled in 2011, EM resistivity images of the subsurface across
the Skrugard prospect were obtained and used by Statoil for estimations of the hydrocarbon saturation.
The resistivity distribution was derived from extensive data analysis of multi-client CSEM data from
2008. After the discovery, prospect specific CSEM data was acquired on a proprietary basis by Statoil,
and the data was used for calibration of discoveries.
The discoveries need to be seen in light of the exploration history in the Barents Sea, and are important
for several reasons; as new reserves for the involved companies, establishment of new infrastructure,
and to remove some of the myths linked to the Barents Sea as an exploration province dominated by
fatal leakage and gas only. In addition, the Bjrnya Basin with neighbouring areas had, prior to the
Skrugard discoveries, several dry wells making it empirically the area with lowest success in the Barents
Sea. Discoveries in this area increase expectations that adjacent areas can contain commercial potential.
A second exploration wave is planned for the area and will target four wells, starting with the Nunatak
prospect with reservoir of Cretaceous age. The subsequent three prospects are of Jurassic age and of
varying depth, volume and probability of success, and will all in a success case be a part of the
Skrugard/Havis development.

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Fig. 1: Regional overview of Barents Sea with Top St depth map, showing the location of the Skrugard
and Havis discoveries within the Bjrnyrenna Fault Zone on the western flank of the Barents Sea.
Structural elements from Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
Fig. 2: Semi-regional map of Top St Fm depicting the faulted terrace setting in which the discoveries
were made.
Fig. 3: Seismic line with overlain interpretation and stratigraphic units crossing the Skrugard and Havis
discoveries as well as the structure on which the dry 7219/9-1 well was drilled. Seismic courtesy of
WesternGeco.
Figure 4: Vertical resistivity section through the Skrugard well (left panel) and the 7219/9-1 well (from
Nordskag et al. 2013)

Nordskag, J. I., Kjsnes, ., Hokstad, K. and Nguyen, A. K. [2013] CSEM in the Barents Sea, Part III: Joint
interpretation of CSEM and seismic inversion results. Submitted to 75th Annual International Meeting,
EAGE, Expanded Abstract.

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Play types and prospectivity on


and around the Loppa High
Harald Brunstad,Trond Kristensen and Espen T.
Ulvester
Lundin Norway AS

Abstract:
Lundin Norway has actively explored the area on and around the
Loppa High since the award of Lundins first exploration license in the
Barents sea in 2007. A large number of plays have been investigated
and matured, spanning from basement to Paleogene. The
presentation will give an overview of relevant geological elements
and plays in the area seen from Lundin Norways perspective.

Example of Triassic channels

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Vesllemy High,
H
Barrents Sea
a: Geology and P
Plays
Janne Guttormseen, Noem T
Tur, Micheele Comisso
o, Pieter Peestman
Repsol
R
Explloration No
orge AS, Osslo
Introoduction
The V
Veslemy High
H
is locateed in the weesternmost portion
p
of thee Barents Seea, in-betweeen the
Trom
ms Basin to the SE, and
d the Srvesttsnaget and Bjrnya baasins to the N
NW (Figure 1). It
actuaally is a paleoo-high, activee during the latest Cretacceous and earrliest Tertiary
ry (Figure 2).
The C
Cretaceous iin the westerrnmost Barennts Sea is ch
haracterized by a series of faulted blocks.
b
Barents Seaa became a passive
Afterr the breakupp of Scandinaavia and Greeenland, the westernmost
w
margin characterrized by pro
ograding seddimentation during
d
the Tertiary
T
andd Quaternary
y. The
Cretaaceous and Tertiary meegasequencess are separaated by a major
m
unconfformity, the Base
Tertiaary Unconfoormity (BTU
U). In placess (such as th
he Veslemy
y High), thiss unconform
mity is
clearlly angular, reeflecting uplift due to loccalized comp
pressional conditions.
Licennse PL531, currently
c
opeerated by Reppsol Exploraation Norge AS,
A is locateed on the sou
uthern
portioon of the Veeslemy Hig
gh, covering a structure that,
t
at the level
l
of the B
BTU, has a dome
shapee (Figure 3). The present paper focusees on this po
ortion of the Veslemy
V
H
High.
Untill now, the Veslemy High
H
has noot been drillled. An exp
ploration weell, 7218/11-1, is
schedduled to be spudded
s
in February
F
20113 on PL531. Reference wells includde 7219/8-1 S (the
closest well, at 466 km distancee), 7216/11- 1 S, and 7316/5-1.

Figurre 1. Locatio
on map, show
wing referencce wells and discoveries/f/fields.
Tectoonic Setting
Evenn though the Veslemy
V
High is considdered to be an antiform shaped by thhe BTU, theere are
t Veslemy Anticlinee as a multi--event
good structural-geological evidences for cconsidering the
structture:

L
Late Cretaceoous syn-kineematic episodde: listric shaallow rooted faults affectting the early
y Late
C
Cretaceous seequences on the top of thhe structure.

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P
Post-kinematic latest Crretaceous eevent, resultiing in general truncationnal attitude of the
B
BTU throughhout the antiicline (as thhe Upper Creetaceous seq
quences are supposed to
o have
bbeen eroded)..
E
Early Paleoceene syn-kinematic episodde: progressiv
ve onlapping
g of Lower PPaleocene strata on
eeastern limb of
o the structu
ure.
L
Late Paleocenne post-kinem
matic episodde: no activity
y (or very mild activity).
E
Eocene syn-kkinematic episode: progrressive erosio
on of the BT
TU on the w
western limb of the
sttructure.

The seismic imaaging is verry poor on the deeper section but it is possib
ible to supp
pose a
decouupling of thee structuration from the vvery defined geometries
g
of
o the overlyiing section. In
I this
case, the heavilyy rotated fau
ulted blocks on the top of
o the structture should correspond to the
zonee of tension of a glideed system w
while there arre, up to no
ow, no clearr evidences of
o the
expeccted toe coompression. This impllies a region
nal detachm
ment slightlyy above the Base
Cretaaceous Unconnformity (BC
CU; in some areas, the BCU
B
itself is acting as a ddecollement level):
l
the B
BCU is separaating two diffferent rheoloogical system
ms.
Whilee the re-acttion throug
gh gliding is clearer, thee nature of th
he action giving rise to the
Vesllemy Anticcline is stilll uncertain: deeply-rootted (obeying
g to rejuvennated old reg
gional
trendd affecting thhe Caledoniides) or shaallow detach
hed (obeying
g to the rheeological partition
suggeested by the gliding)? Orr a combinatiion of the two?
Accoording to thee ongoing reegional interp
rpretation, th
he pre-existin
ng shapes off the Caledo
onides
(napppe geometriees) are playin
ng a major roole in the evo
olution of thee structure: thhe Veslemy
y High
is oveerlying a pree-Jurassic bassement high..

Figurre 2. W-E seeismic line through the Veeslemy High


h, indicating
g (circled) thee Cretaceouss play
below the Baase Tertiary Unconformiity (BTU), an
nd the Paleoccene play aboove the BTU
U.
Strattigraphy
The ssedimentary succession of
o the Barennts Sea is Palleozoic to Quaternary inn age. Howev
ver, in
the arrea of the Veslemy Hig
gh, the pre-C
Cretaceous su
uccession is very deep, aand the interrval of
intereest is assumeed to be Cretaaceous to Teertiary in agee (Figure 4).
Becauuse of the uncertain
u
correlation betw
ween the refference wellss and the Veeslemy areaa, it is
not ppossible to determine
d
with certaintyy the age off the sedimen
ntary successsion immed
diately
underrlying the BT
TU. Howeveer, the packaage is most liikely Cretaceeous in age: Aptian-Albiian, or
Uppeer Cretaceouss. Based on the
t seismic iimaging and
d data from nearby
n
wells,, the Cretaceeous is

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 12 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

expeccted to be shhale-dominatted, with subbordinate saandy intervalls. The Cretaaceous sandsstones


are exxpected to bee turbiditic, as
a they are allong the Lop
ppa High and
d in Mid-Norrway.
The B
BTU is overrlain by the Paleocene-O
P
Oligocene To
orsk Formation, that conssists of claystonedominated clasticcs with subo
ordinate sanddstones. Theese sandstonees have beenn drilled in a few
wellss (7216/11-11 S and 731
16/5-1), wheere they werre found to be turbiditiic, with exccellent
reservvoir quality in some plaaces. Over thhe Veslemy
y High, the lower
l
part off the Paleocene is
absennt, due to onllap onto the paleo-high
p
(F
Figure 2).
The uupper Pliocenne-Quaternarry, periglaciaal Nordland Group caps the
t sedimenttary successiion.

Figure
F
3. Map
ap of Base Teertiary (BTU)
U).
m
Playss and Petrolleum System
Two plays have been
b
identifieed on the Ve slemy High
h (Figure 2):
Cretaaceous turbidites in halff-grabens unnderneath th
he BTU. Thee trap is part
rtly structuraal, and
partlyy stratigraphic (truncation
n against thee BTU). If th
he turbidites are Aptian-A
Albian in age, this
wouldd correspondd to the NPD
Ds bju,kl-3 play. If they
y turn out to
o be Late Cre
retaceous in age, a
new pplay name would
w
be requ
uired, e.g. bkku-2.
urbidite sanndstones), on
nlapping thee BTU. Thee trap is bassically
Paleoocene beds (probably tu
stratiggraphic, withh a structuraal componennt. This is a new play: a Paleocene version of NPDs
N
beo-11 play.
Unceertainties exisst regarding the petroleum
m systems off these plays:
Soource rock and
a
timing. The only pproven sourrce rock in the area, thhe Upper Ju
urassic
Hekkingen Foormation, is currently ovvermature ov
ver most of the
t area arouund the Vesllemy
Hiigh; most off the hydrocaarbon expulssion may hav
ve occurred before
b
trap fformation. Several
Crretaceous an
nd Paleogene source rockks are known, but it is nott clear how th
they are deveeloped
inn the surrounddings of the Veslemy H
High.
Reeservoirs. Thhe targeted intervals, Palleocene and Middle-Upp
per Cretaceouus, do not co
ontain
saandstones in any of the reference w
wells. The best analoguees for the foormer are Eocene
E
saandstones in wells 7216/1
11-1 S and 77316/5-1, wh
hile for the laatter, Cretaceeous sandstones in
M
Mid-Norway and
a the north
hern Hammeerfest Basin may
m be used as analoguess.

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Prreservation. Some leakag


ge along fauults has occu
urred as indiccated by gass clouds visib
ble on
seeismic.
Figurre 4. Stratiigraphy of the
Norw
wegian
B
Barents
Sea,
S
show
wing reservoiirs and sourrce
rockss relevant for the Veslem
my
High (based on Worsley 20
008
and L
Larssen et all 2005).
win Prospectt
Darw
An exxploratory well,
w
7218/11
1-1,
will bbe drilled onn the Veslem
my
High: on the Daarwin prospeect,
locateed in thee southeasteern
the
portioon.
Here,
both
Paleoozoic and Crretaceous plaays
are ppresent and can be tested
with one well. The
T exploratiion
well is scheduledd to be spudd
ded
in Febbruary 2013.
The ttrap of the Darwin
D
prosp
pect
is stratigraphic with
w a structu
ural
compponent (Figurre 5).
The eexpected reservoirs are two
sandsstone intervaals: one at the
base of the Paleoccene, the oth
her near the toop of the Creetaceous succession.

Figure 5. W-E seismicc line throughh the Darwin


n prospect, in
ndicating weell position.
Ackn
nowledgemeents
The aauthors thankk the partnerrs in licensee PL531 (Con
ncedo ASA, Det norske oljeselskap ASA,
Faroee Petroleum Norge AS, Marathon O
Oil Norge AS,
A RWE Dea
D Norge A
AS, and Tallisman
Energgy Norge AS
S) for permisssion to preseent this paperr.

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The Caurus discovery, Barents Sea A new look at the middle Triassic Kobbe formation
Camilla Oftebro and Carsten Elfenbein, Det Norske ASA


Introduction
PL659 Caurus, awarded February 2012 (APA 2011), is located on the Bjarmeland Platform. It is
defined as a footwall uplift structure situated along the northern part of the Asterias fault complex,
and includes the Caurus discovery (well 7222/11-1T2) made by Statoil in 2008 in production license
PL228.
Det norske is the operator of PL659 and the licensees are Petoro, Lundin Petroleum, Spring (now
Tullow oil), Rocksource and Valiant Petroleum. A firm well is planned in Q4 2013 and 3D seismic
acquisition is planned in 2014/2015.


Figure1: Location of PL659.

Well 7222/11-1 was drilled with the objectives to prove hydrocarbons in the Triassic Snadd
formation and in the Middle Triassic Kobbe Formation. The well proved gas in channelized
sandstones of the Snadd Formation with a gas-water contact and also gas and oil at two levels in the
Kobbe Formation (Anisian); oil in an Upper Anisian reservoir and gas and oil in a lower Upper Anisian
reservoir. The discovery was considered sub-commercial and the license was relinquished in 2010.
The Kobbe Formation reservoir in the discovery well on Caurus encountered low net to gross ratios
and generally poor porosity and permeability. The same marginal reservoir quality is seen in other
wells in the Bjarmeland area. Hence the reservoir potential of the Kobbe Formation has commonly
been perceived as limited.
In 2011 the gas discovery well 7225/3-1 on the Norvarg Dome delivered encouraging production test
results from an interval which is directly correlatable to the main reservoir in Caurus well 7222/11-1.

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This lead to a re-evaluation and a more positive view of the production properties of the Kobbe
Formation on Caurus. In addition, recent results from other wells in the area and in particular
conclusions after seismic special studies spectral decomposition/RGB blending, seismic inversion,
and AVO, gives reasons to believe that the Kobbe formation may have substantial commercial
potential.

Play summary
The Caurus structure developed during the Jurassic early Cretaceous by footwall uplift along the
north-eastern flank of the Asterias fault complex, the fault that separates the Bjarmeland Platform
from the Hammerfest Basin.
The main resource potential within the license is situated within the large Caurus three way dip
closure in the Anisian Kobbe formation, fault bounded by the Asterias Fault Complex towards
southeast( figure 2).


Figure 2: Top Kobbe depth structure map with spill contour outlined in white.

The younger Carnian Snadd Formation with its channelized sandstone reservoirs is considered an
upside potential.
The Triassic evolution of the area is dominated by seismic-scale prograding transgressive-regressive
sequences sourced mainly from the Uralides, possibly with minor contribution from Fennoscandia.
The main reservoir of the Kobbe Formation is composed of sandstones and heteroliths deposited in
shallow- to marginal marine settings during Anisian time. These include tidal channels and bars,
bayfill and fluvial distributaries. At this stage it is too early to conclude on the trapping and sealing
mechanism of the reservoir. It is assumed that the Asterias Fault Complex behaves as a sealing fault
for the 3-way dip closure, and robust top and base seals are provided by extensive shale intervals
representing flooding surfaces. MDT pressure points from the hydrocarbon zone in the Kobbe
Formation in well 7222/11-1 show no connectivity between the two different Anisian reservoir
zones. Also, the well proved hydrocarbons down to a depth that is about 140m deeper than the
mapped spill at Top Kobbe level. Hence multiple stacked reservoir zones seem likely, and the modest

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hydrocarbon columns encountered by the well could be controlled by local stratigraphic (or
structural) traps.
The Kobbe Formation gas play is assumed sourced from the underlying and inter fingering organic-
rich mudrocks of the Klappmyss and Kobbe formations.
From 3D seismic data, numerous channel features are mapable at different stratigraphic levels
within the Kobbe Formation. Spectral decomposition techniques reveal a network of sinuous,
relatively narrow channels on the one hand and wider and straighter channels on the other hand.
The latter possibly indicating a relatively sand prone distributary channel system. Examples from
spectral decomposition are shown in figure 3. Especially two big channel geometries, the
Langlitinden prospect and the Sntinden prospect, are clearly distinguished and are considered as
the two main prospects in the Kobbe formation.

Figure 3: Examples of seismically visible channels at different levels in the Kobbe formation from spectral
decomposition analysis (RGB blend).

Objectives and challenges


The key challenges and key risks on Caurus are believed to be related to reservoir quality and trap
geometry. Grain size comprises the primary control on the reservoir properties and for commercial
production coarser than very fine grained sandstone is necessary. The trap geometry is still not fully
understood and the real trap could be a much more limited stratigraphic /structural trap than the
hitherto mapped closure.
It is believed that well 7222/11-1 on Caurus, alongside with all other wells drilled in the Bjarmeland
area, is not optimally placed to test the Kobbe Formation. The license group has been working
towards an optimal placement for the second exploration well on Caurus, where the main objective
is to target and test one of the main channelized sandstones visible from seismic analysis. The aim is
to prove better reservoir properties, prove commercial production rates (by DST) and to evaluate
HC-contacts. We also hope the planned well will give valid information about the trapping
mechanism in the Kobbe formation, and a better overall understanding of the complex palaeo-
depositional environments in the Bjarmeland area.
Det norske would like to acknowledge the partners for constructive contribution to the license work.

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Petroleum geology of Nordland VI, VII and Troms II


Ketil Kaada, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD)
Abstract:
Kjetil Kaada, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, P. O. Box 600, 4003 Stavanger, Norway
The offshore areas off Nordland and Troms are regarded by the petroleum industry as one of the
most attractive new areas for petroleum exploration. Due to environmental and fishery concerns,
only parts of this area have so far been open for exploration. Since 2001, the whole area has been
closed.
As part of the management plan for the Barents Sea and the sea areas off the Lofoten Islands it was
decided in 2006 to acquire more information, investigating all relevant issues. The Norwegian
Petroleum Directorate has, as a part of this plan, conducted an independent evaluation of the
petroleum geology and petroleum resource potential of these areas.

The offshore area close to the Lofoten Islands has a varied and interesting geology. The continental
shelf is here at its narrowest, in some places narrower than 20 kilometers. From the outer edge of
the continental shelf, the seabed plunges down to abyssal depths greater than 2,500 meters below
sea level.
74

72

70

68

66

20

25
Troms

15
TROMS II

Hars t ad

20

Nar vik

Bod
NORDLAND VII

10

15

NORDLAND VI

10

Location Map

The Lofoten crystalline basement rocks represent structural highs surrounded by sedimentary basins.
The most prominent high is the Lofoten Ridge. To the west of the Lofoten Ridge is the Ribban Basin.
This basin is filled with sedimentary rocks of Jurassic and Cretaceous age. North of the Lofoten Ridge
is the Harstad Basin, characterized by strong subsidence in the Jurassic and Cretaceous. The basin is
0

5
68

66

Location Map

OD 1302005

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 18 Biennial Geophysical Seminar


Location Map
The Lofoten crystalline basement rocks represent structural highs surrounded by sedimentary basins.
The most prominent high is the Lofoten Ridge. To the west of the Lofoten Ridge is the Ribban Basin.
This basin is filled with sedimentary rocks of Jurassic and Cretaceous age. North of the Lofoten Ridge
is the Harstad Basin, characterized by strong subsidence in the Jurassic and Cretaceous. The basin is

filled with a thick sedimentary sequence of Cretaceous age. Fault blocks were formed in the area in
the Triassic and Jurassic, and reactivated in the Cretaceous and Paleogene.

The potential reservoir rocks in the area consist of Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous and Paleogene
sandstones. It is also possible that fractured and eroded basement can have reservoir properties.

The main source rock for oil and gas in the area is of Late Jurassic age. The source rock is assumed to
be sufficiently deeply buried to expel hydrocarbons in the Ribban and Harstad Basins.

Coastal areas of the northern part of Nordland County and southern part of Troms County were
subjected to an extensive uplift and subsequent erosion. This uplift took place from Late Cretaceous
to Neogene. As a consequence of the uplift, the continental margin was strongly tilted down
towards the west. Some pre-existing faults were passively tilted, some were reactivated or inverted.
The strongest tilt occurs where the margin is the narrowest. Sediment transport postdating the uplift
was directed towards the south and the north of Lofoten, indicating that this area remained
topographically high. Many identified prospects are located in uplifted areas. This may have led to
increased leakage of hydrocarbons from the traps.

In this talk, an overview of the petroleum geology will be presented including the geological and
geophysical challenges that were part of the evaluation.

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 19 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

Title: Finding Arctic Oil Giants: How to risk Barents Sea uplift and erosion ?
Title: Finding Arctic Oil Giants: How to risk Barents Sea uplift and erosion ?
Authors:
Maersk Oil New Ventures Exploration Team, Stavanger, Norway
Authors:
Maersk
Oil New
Ventures
Exploration
Team, Stavanger, Norway
Presenter:
Paul Henry
Nadeau,
Maersk
Oil Norway
AS, Norway
Presenter:
Paul Henry Nadeau, Maersk Oil Norway AS, Norway
Abstract: Exploration challenges in sedimentary basins which have undergone significant
challenges
in sedimentary
basinsrock
which
have undergone
significant
amountsAbstract:
of uplift Exploration
and erosion (U&E)
include:
arresting source
maturation,
reduction
of
amounts
of
uplift
and
erosion
(U&E)
include:
arresting
source
rock
maturation,
reduction
of
reservoir pressure and temperature, gas expansion, reduction of confining stress, and seal/trap
reservoir
pressure particularly
and temperature,
confining
stress, and seal/trap
failure. These
challenges,
alonggas
the expansion,
structurallyreduction
complex of
Barents
Sea margin
failure.
These
challenges,
particularly
along
the
structurally
complex
Barents
(Figure 1) require that both the magnitude as well as the timing of U&E events in the Sea margin
(Figurehistory
1) require
that both the
magnitude
as well as the
of U&E
events in the
burial/thermal
be accurately
estimated
and integrated
intotiming
petroleum
systems
burial/thermal
history
be
accurately
estimated
and
integrated
into
petroleum
systems
considerations. Such analyses often show that trap preservation with respect to hydrocarbon
considerations.
analyses
often show
that trap
with respect to hydrocarbon
charge becomes
a majorSuch
risk factor.
Geological
models
for preservation
oil and gas entrapment
charge
becomes
major risk
models for
oil and
gas entrapment
demonstrate
that
the vastamajority
of factor.
reservesGeological
occur in relatively
narrow
depth
intervals,
demonstrate
that
the
vast
majority
of
reserves
occur
in
relatively
narrow
depth
intervals,
mainly determined by the geothermal gradient and maximum reservoir temperature
(Bjrkum
mainly
determined
the 2005;
geothermal
gradient
maximum
temperature
and Nadeau,
1998;
Nadeau by
et al.,
Nadeau,
2011).and
Applying
this reservoir
methodology
to the (Bjrkum
and
Nadeau,
1998;
Nadeau
et
al.,
2005;
Nadeau,
2011).
Applying
this
methodology
to the
Barents Sea shows a clear depth interval which includes the bulk of discovered reserves.
Barents Sea
shows
a clear
includes
the bulk
of discovered
reserves.
When calibrated
to the
North
Sea, depth
as wellinterval
as datawhich
from other
basins,
the analysis
provides
a
When
calibrated
to
the
North
Sea,
as
well
as
data
from
other
basins,
the
analysis
provides
a
conceptual framework for risking Barents Sea prospects & plays for trap/seal failure, phase,
conceptual framework for risking Barents Sea prospects & plays for trap/seal failure, phase,
and preservation.
and preservation.
References:
References:
Bjrkum, P.A. & P. H. Nadeau, 1998, Temperature controlled porosity/permeability reduction, fluid
Bjrkum,
P.A. & exploration
P. H. Nadeau,
1998, Temperature
reduction, fluid
migration,
and petroleum
in sedimentary
basins. controlled
Australian porosity/permeability
Pet. Prod. & Expl. Assoc.
and petroleum exploration in sedimentary basins. Australian Pet. Prod. & Expl. Assoc.
Journal, migration,
38, 453-464.
Journal, 38, 453-464.
Nadeau, P.H., 2011, Earth's energy "Golden Zone": A synthesis from mineralogical research. Clay
P.H., 2011, Earth's energy "Golden Zone": A synthesis from mineralogical research. Clay
Minerals,Nadeau,
46, 1-24.
Minerals, 46, 1-24.
Nadeau, P.H., Bjrkum, P.A. & Walderhaug, O., 2005. Petroleum system analysis: Impact of shale
Nadeau,
P.H., Bjrkum,
P.A. &
Walderhaug,
O., 2005.
Petroleum
systemrisks.
analysis:
Impact
diagenesis
on reservoir
fluid pressure,
hydrocarbon
migration
and
biodegradation
In: Dor,
A.of shale
diagenesis
on Petroleum
reservoir fluid
pressure,
hydrocarbon
migration
and biodegradation
risks. In: Dor, A.
G. & Vining,
B. (eds)
Geology:
North-West
Europe
and Global
Perspectives Proceedings
& Vining,Geology
B. (eds)Conference,
Petroleum Geology:
North-West
andConferences
Global Perspectives
Proceedings
of the 6thG.Petroleum
1267-1274.
PetroleumEurope
Geology
Ltd.,
thethe
6thGeological
PetroleumSociety,
GeologyLondon.
Conference, 1267-1274. Petroleum Geology Conferences Ltd.,
Publishedofby
Published by the Geological Society, London.

Figure 1. Structural geo-seismic section along the Western Barents Sea Margin (J. K.
Hansen, pers. com.)

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 20 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

From Heidrun to the Outer Vring Margin: Lessons learned in search of a


westward extension to the prolific Halten Terrace Jurassic oil play
Roy Leadholm, Tim Austin, Colin Hirning, Rune Mogensen, Chris Parry
Over the last three decades ConocoPhillips has established a legacy of knowledge in Mid Norway
through its exploration endeavors and commitment to test multiple play concepts. This activity
involved participation in 26 exploration licenses and the drilling of 34 wildcat wells in the Halten
Terrace, the Vring Basin and the Mre Basin (Figure 1).

The effort resulted in: 3 significant commercial discoveries (Tyrihans, Heidrun and Aasta
Hansteen) representing a NPD estimated gross recoverable resource base of 360 MM SM3; three
technical discoveries with an estimated challenged in-place resources in excess of 550 MM SM3
(Ellida, Midnattsol and Stetind); fourteen wells with significant shows and fourteen dry holes.
Each of these wells played a significant role in advancing the geologic understanding of the Mid
Norway region. This paper provides a look back on the exploration program with the intent of
compiling the lessons learned into a meaningful geologic synopsis that will hopefully prompt
discussion and benefit industry in future exploration efforts.
The Haltenbanken area was opened for initial (5th Round) license applications in 1980. Midgrd
(later part of sgard unit) was discovered in 1981 but was viewed at the time as a disappointment
(gas-condensate). Two years later ConocoPhillips was part of the consortium that made the first
oil discovery in the area (Tyrihans). Encouraged by this result the company initiated extensive
regional work in preparation for the 8th Licensing Round. A key part of this program was a

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 21 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

maturation modeling project designed to identify oil prone fetch areas. This work played a
significant role in the PL095 award (ConocoPhillips initial operator). The first well in the license
was positioned within the mature oil window but failed due to an expanded Melke Formation
which pushed the main Jurassic reservoir deeper than prognosed. The second well, 6507/7-2, was
positioned in an immature oil window but up-dip from a mature fetch cell. It resulted in the
Heidrun discovery. Significant learnings in terms of porosity preservation and maturationmigration trends followed from this early work. The Heidrun discovery helped spur a
continuation of successful exploration on the Halten Terrace that has carried through to recent
times.
In the mid 1990's the authorities opened portions of the Vring and Mre areas for the 15th
Licensing Round. To prepare for the round, ConocoPhillips conducted an extensive seismicstratigraphic and sequence stratigraphic regional project tying in well data from the Halten
Terrace and West of Shetlands together with outcrop data from East Greenland. Focus at this
time was on the large structural potential offered by the Ormen Lange, Vema and Nyk Domes. In
the Vring Basin, syn-rift Upper Cretaceous to Paleocene reservoir sands were postulated,
sourced from the uplifted pre-drift East Greenland Shelf and mainland Norway. Paleocene sands
were also predicted to be present in the Mre Basin structures. At the time of application it was
thought the Ormen Lange structure would be gas prone due to deep burial of Jurassic source
rocks. The Vema Dome and Nyk High were thought to have better potential for oil, but only if
liquids were preserved by well timed migration episodes. ConocoPhillips was awarded interest in
the Vema Dome (PL215) and later farmed into the Nyk Dome (PL217 & PL218). Subsequent
drilling confirmed that reservoir predictions were largely correct. However, even though
significant quantities of dry gas were found at Ormen Lange and Aasta Hansteen (Nyk), no direct
evidence of a working Jurassic source was proven.
In the early 2000's, additional significant structural potential was made accessible via the 16th
and 17th Licensing Rounds in both the Vring and Mre Basins. Influenced by the Ormen Lange
and Luva gas discoveries with associated direct hydrocarbon indicators, the companys
exploration mandate was expanded to include the search for both large oil and large gas
prospects. Interest in six exploration licenses was obtained during this phase (PL254, PL258,
PL264, PL281 and PL283). PL258 targeted rotated Jurassic fault blocks on the south west flank
of the Gjallar Ridge, with an assumed oil mature Jurassic source. PL264 was centered on the
Nagalfar Dome, directly north from the Luva discovery, where play fairway mapping suggested
Cretaceous sandstones would be present. Modeling studies predicted potential for a liquids
charge from mature Jurassic source rocks interpreted to underlay basaltic sheet flows to the west.
PL254 and PL281 were acquired based on pursuit of giant gas prospects with Upper CretaceousEocene basin floor sand reservoirs draped over large inversion features. These prospects both
demonstrated amplitude conformance. In addition the PL281 prospect had a well developed flat
event. PL283 was also acquired in search of giant gas with a main prospect that targeted a rotated
Cretaceous fault block with a recognized AVO anomaly associated with the Lysing Formation.
All of these licenses except PL258 have been tested with wildcat wells. Significant challenged
resources were found but despite the robust direct hydrocarbon indicators, no commercial
discoveries were made. The principal failure was reservoir quality.
In preparation for the 19th Round, ConocoPhillips embarked on a renewed regional work
program. The primary objective was to evaluate and characterize the basin for liquids potential.
These efforts led to the high grading of postulated Cretaceous and Jurassic oil prone opportunities
along the Gjallar Ridge. On the southern flank of the ridge a prominent Cretaceous four-way dipclosed structure with an underlying large and robust tilted fault block, potentially of Jurassic age,
was identified. It was hoped that this prospect, Dalsnuten, would contain oil sourced from Late

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 22 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

Jurassic shales. The blocks were applied for and interest was secured with a firm well
commitment. In preparation for the 21st License Round, the company conducted proprietary
reprocessing ventures to position for analogous opportunities along the western margins of the
Mre and Vring Basins. An application for the Bach Prospect, situated at the north end of
Gjallar Ridge was submitted. The Dalsnuten Prospect reached total drilling depth after the bid
round was closed. Results demonstrated significant deviation from the pre-drill interpretation in
that the structural development of the underlying fault block was younger than prognosed, the
well failed to prove viable reservoirs and there were no significant shows. Given shared risks
with the Dalsnuten prospect the application for the Bach Prospect was withdrawn.
Although several large gas discoveries have been made in the Vring and Mre Basins, a
westward extent of the prolific Jurassic source rock has not yet been proven. From a gas
perspective, a large proportion of the wildcat tests outboard of the Halten Terrace failed, largely
due to reservoir presence or quality. In recent years industry interest in wildcat exploration in this
area has diminished. In the 22nd License Round, out of 86 blocks announced only 14 were in the
Norwegian Sea. It is hoped that sharing lessons learned from previous drilling may spur
discussions that could help revive exploration in the area. Moreover, it is duly noted that in
addition to the structural and stratigraphic concepts that have been drilled, there is remaining
untested potential beneath the poorly imaged sub-basalt province to the west, as well as within the
currently un-opened acreage of the greater Nordland-Vesterlen area to the north. Combined
industry learnings will help optimize exploration efficiency when pursuing opportunities in these
as yet untested domains.

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 23 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

Permian stratigraphy of the Southern Nordland Ridge, Haltenbanken: Results from recent
exploration drilling
Chris Dart, Anne-Lise Lysholm, Lars Stemmerik* & Stefan Piasecki*
E.ON E&P Norge AS, Norway; *University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Introduction
Following E.ONs acquisition of a 28% stake in the Skarv development, the company placed a
heightened focus on exploration on, and around, the Dnna Terrace. Years of Jurassic and Cretaceous
exploration had all but exhausted the potential for finding significant discoveries in these classic
plays. Therefore, a possibility to test the under-explored Permian carbonate play in a large structure
within the southern Nordland Ridge offered a promising frontier exploration opportunity. Although
the well was dry, valuable new information was collected, confirming that an analogous Permian
carbonate stratigraphy to East Greenland is present on the Norwegian side of the North Atlantic.
Unfortunately, however, the Permian carbonates of mid-Norway still remain one of the great
unconfirmed plays of the NCS.

E.ON acknowledges partners Statoil Petroleum AS and PGNiG Norway AS for active contributions to
the exploration effort, and permission to release information released in this presentation and abstract.

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 24 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

Permian stratigraphy of East Greenland


Mapping campaigns from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and exploration
efforts by ARCO in the 1980s led to the publication of a series of key articles on the Permian
geology of East Greenland in the late 1980s and early 1990s (Surlyk et al. 1986; Piasecki &
Stemmerik 1991; Stemmerik et al.1993; Stemmerik et al., 1993).

Photo
below

In East Greenland, the Permian sequence sits unconformably on Devonian/Carboniferous coarse


clastics, and is overlain by the fine grained sediments of the Triassic Wordie Creek Fm. In Jameson
Land, Permian karstified bryozoan carbonate build-ups of the Wegener Halv Fm. provide potential
reservoir rocks that are directly overlain by organic rich shales of the Ravnefjeld Fm. The build-ups
are capped and flanked by ooidal and bioclastic packstones and grainstones, further enhancing
reservoir potential. These formations overlie potential secondary reservoirs in the karstified brecciated
carbonates of the Karstryggen Fm., and basal conglomerates of the Huledal Fm., completing the
exposed East Greenland Permian stratigraphy.

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 25 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

Previous drilling results from Haltenbanken


On the Norwegian side of the Atlantic Permian carbonates were first proved in 1983 by the Phillips
6609/7-1 well that penetrated a 36 m remnant of Permian carbonates and sandstones sandwiched
between the BCU and crystalline basement rocks. Interest in the mid-Norway Permian play was then
heightened following IKU shallow drilling close to the Norwegian mainland in the 1990s. Here a
clastic sequence was penetrated spanning the Permian-Triassic boundary and including a potential
source rock and hydrocarbon shows. The source rock was later correlated to the Ravnefjeld Fm. by
Bugge et al.s (2002) article, that first synthesised the petroleum potential of the mid Norway Permian
play.

Recent exploration drilling results from the Nordland Ridge


PL350 was awarded in APA2004 to a Statoil operated partnership, where E.ON held a minority share.
Initial focus on Jurassic prospectivity failed to yield a drillable target, and attention shifted to a large,
deep, fault block that occupied most of the southern part of block 6507/6. This structure was not new,
and had already been identified by NPDs Blystad et al.s (1995) Bulletin No.8, on the structural
elements of the Norwegian Sea as the Sr High. The deepest well on the block TDed several hundred
meters above the reflector that defined the structure. Regional well tie work, however, indicated that
this could potentially mark the top of the Permian carbonates.
Statoil organised a license field expedition in the summer of 2008 led by the University of
Copenhagen to study the exposed Permian geology in East Greenland, and much useful information
was gathered on likely reservoir parameters.
In 2009 E.ON took over operatorship of PL350, Statoil reduced their share and PGNiG joined the
partnership, bringing with them their experience from exploring the Permian carbonate play in
Poland. Following the EO09M02 PSDM reprocessing of the available 3D seismic data, a drill
decision based on the Permian Sesam prospect was made, with the Triassic Grey Beds Sindbad
prospect as a secondary target. PL350B was secured as protection acreage for the northernmost part of
the prospect in APA2011.
6507/6-4 was spudded in October 2011, and completed in January 2012. After a long hard Triassic
section, the well finally penetrated a complete succession of the Permian stratigraphy and TDed in
(probable) Carboniferous conglomerates at 4360 m TVDSS. 27 m of core were recovered from the
uppermost part of the carbonates. Litho- and biostratigrahic correlation show that all the Permian
formations exposed in East Greenland are probably also represented in the 6507/6-4 well. The cored

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 26 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

Wegner Halv Fm equivalent was unfortunately developed in a fine grained off-reef distal turbidite
facies, without reservoir potential.

Data from the well are still being analysed, and work continues to identify new ways of approaching
the, as yet unproven, play. Hopefully this new data point is just a milestone on the journey, and not
the conclusion of the mid-Norway Permian carbonate exploration story.
References
Blystad, P., Brekke, H., Frseth, R. B., Larsen, B. T., Skogseid, J., & Trudbakken, B. 1995 Structural
elements of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Part II: The Norwegian Sea region. Norwegian Petroleum
Directorate Bulletin 8.
Bugge, T., Rings, J. E., Leith, D. A., Mangerud, G., Weiss, H. M. & Leith, T. L. 2002 Upper Permian as a
new play model on the Mid-Norwegian continental shelf: investigated by shallow stratigraphic drilling:
American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin 86, 107-127.
Piasecki, S. & Stemmerik, L. 1991 Late Permian anoxia of central East Greenland. In: Modern and ancient
shelf anoxia, Tyson, R. V. & Pearson, T. H., Eds., Geological Society of London Special Publication 58, 275290.
Stemmerik, L., Scolle, P. A., Henk., F.H., Di Liegro, G. & Ulmer, D. S. 1993 Sedimentology and diagenesis
of the Upper Permian Wegener Halv Formation carbonates along the margins of the Jameson Land Basin, East
Greenland. In: Arctic geology and petroleum potential, Vorren, T.O., Bergsager, E., Dahl-Stamnes, . A.,
Holter, E., Johansen, B., Lie, E. & Lund, T. B., Eds., NPF Special Publication 2, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 107119.
Surlyk, F., Hurst, J. M., Piasecki, S., Rolle, F., Scholle, P. A., Stemmerik, L. & Thomsen, E. 1986 The
Permian of the western margin of the Greenland Sea a future exploration target. In M.T. Halbouty (ed.) Future
petroleum provinces of the world. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 40, 629659.

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 27 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

How innovative thinking can lead to exploration success


Angus McCoss, Exploration Director, Tullow Oil plc
Angus McCoss was appointed to the Board of Tullow Oil plc in December 2006. Angus is a geologist
with a BP sponsored PhD. Before joining Tullow, Angus had 21 years of wide-ranging exploration
experience, working primarily with Shell in Africa, Europe, China, South America and the Middle
East. He held a number of senior positions within Shell including Americas Regional Vice President
Exploration and General Manager of Exploration in Nigeria. He is also a non-executive Director of
Ikon Science Limited and a member of the Advisory Board of the industry-backed Energy and
Geoscience Institute of the University of Utah.
Tullow is Africas leading oil and gas company and one of the worlds leading exploration companies.
Over the past 7 years, the company has made key basin-opening discoveries offshore Ghana and in
Uganda and Kenya. Tullow now works in 15 countries in Africa and has plans in 2013 to drill high-
impact wells in Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Mauritania and Cote dIvoire. Alongside this African
success, Tullow has taken its success offshore West Africa over to South America where, in
September 2011, the company made the Zaedyus-1 discovery, offshore French Guiana. This
discovery has lead Tullow to investigate the Atlantic margins further and in 2012 Tullow made five
new country entries of which four (Norway, Greenland, Guinea and Uruguay) have Atlantic
prospects. This interest in the Atlantic Margins was increased in late 2012 when Tullow acquired
Norways Spring Energy and was further increased by Springs success in the 2012 Norwegian APA
Licence Round. In 2013, Tullow Norge (of which Spring is the key constituent) has interests in at
least 10 wells, offshore Norway.
In his presentation to Norsk Petroleumsforening, Dr. McCoss will discuss Tullows geological and
geophysical approach to exploration and he will demonstrate how Tullows new interests in Norway
fit with the companys global exploration strategy.
Tullow and Spring are highly complementary to each other. Both companies have a strong record of
both discovering and commercialising oil resources and both companies have a strong
entrepreneurial streak. Spring has now been integrated into Tullow and Springs CEO, Roar Tessum,
has been appointed to lead Tullows North Atlantic Business Unit which includes acreage offshore
Greenland that Tullow farmed-in to last year.
Acquiring Spring has complemented Tullows expertise in geoscience. Of Springs 37 employees, 24
are geologists or geophysicists. Tullows abilities in these fields are well recognised and are at the
heart of the Companys major exploration successes since 2006. Tullows office in Dublin, where the
company was founded, is a centre of geoscientific excellence with close links to University College,
Dublin. Tullows exploration teams in London and Cape Town are equally capable and form a world-
wide exploration effort that is industry-leading. This position has been earned through the rigorous
application of geoscience and petroleum engineering in analysing potential petroleum systems and
sedimentary basins. The geoscientific expertise that Spring has brought to Tullow will not only be
vital in evaluating new acreage awarded offshore Norway but in examining analogues throughout
the Atlantic Margins.

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 28 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

The Edvard Grieg-Johan Sverdrup exploration history and future


area potential
Hans Rnnevik, Arild Jrstad and Daniel Stoddart Lundin Norway AS
Sivert Jrgenvg Statoil ASA
The first exploration drilling campaign in Norway in the late 60s included the southern Viking Trough
and the Utsira High. This campaign resulted in several significant gas and biodegraded oil discoveries
related to Jurassic and Paleocene play types (Frigg and Balder fields). The first well on the southern
part of the Utsira High, Esso 16/2-1 drilled in 1967, had good oil shows in the Tor Formation and
basement. This was later referred to as the Ragnarrock discovery and delineated by Statoil in 2007
with the drilling of wells 16/2-3 and 4. The delineation drilling concluded that the chalk and
basement reservoirs in this area had limited commercial potential.
The initial exploration phase of the area was based on 2D seismic data and the general view in the
late 1980's was that the southern Viking Trough and Utsira High was an area of gas or heavy oil. This
view hindered the possibility of alternate play types. However the introduction of 3D seismic as an
exploration tool in the 1990's opened for more efficient seismic guided exploration that resulted in
the discovery of light oil (ie. Jotun, Ringhorne). Further development of the 3D seismic into multi-
cube 3D seismic and rock physics analysis integrated with an increase in the diversity of the
geochemical and geological data triggered a new successful exploration effort from 2000. The early
success was focused on the Paleocene oil discoveries leading to the Alvheim, Volund and Vilje
discoveries.
The southern part of the Utsira High is a basement high that has a kinematic history different from
the central and northern part and is hence referred to as Haugaland High. The high is affected by all
the major tectonic events from Late Paleozoic to Late Neogene and Pleistocene glacial episodes.
These events are all essential for the petroleum habitat of the high.
The prolific petroleum nature of the Haugaland High area was demonstrated by the following oil
discoveries: Edvard Grieg (16/1-8) in 2007, Draupne (16/1-9) in 2008, Luno South (16/1-12) in 2009,
Apollo discoveries (16/1-14) in 2010, the giant Johan Sverdrup discovery (16/2-6) in 2010 and the
Tellus discovery in 2011 (16/1-15). These discoveries are flanking and are pressure sealed off from
the saturated light oil/biodegraded black oil 16/2-5 discovery at the crest of the high drilled in 2009.
In addition the Verdandi gas discovery (16/1-6S) was made in 2003.
The initial play concepts developed for the APA 2004 and 2005 license applications highlighted the
presence of a 40-50 m saturated oil leg in thin Jurassic age sand and inlier basin sediments with a
common oil leg flanking the whole Haugaland High. The presence of Upper Jurassic sand play
concept was supported by wells 16/1-5 and 16/3-2 which showed excellent reservoir properties. The
saturated oil leg concept was based on the presence of good oil shows in well 16/1-5 and gas in
granite was in 16/1-4 .
The concept of filling the whole high was supported by an updated macro-scale migration model that
combined late migration into the Haugaland High from source rock areas in the Viking Trough. This
was backed by Tertiary paleo-reconstruction of the high that indicated that the current outline of

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 29 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

the high was obtained in Pliocene. Hydrocarbon indicators strongly suggested leakage from the west
flank of the Karmsund Graben into the overlying Miocene Utsira Formation and a subsequent
migration from east to west within this sequence.
Leads in stratigraphic traps in Paleocene and Upper Jurassic/Lower Cretaceous sequences along the
western and south-western flanks of the Haugaland High were considered possible. The
Jurassic/Cretaceous play concept was enhanced by the Hanz and West Cable discoveries and 16/1-3
well. The Paleocene play was based on the Verdandi and Biotitt discoveries and sand found in several
wells on the west flank of the high.
The discovery of the Edvard Grieg Field (16/1-8 drilled in 2007) proved the play concept related to
filling of the whole high. The Edvard Grieg discovery calibrated the migration concept and
importantly converted the Johan Sverdrup prospect in to a low risk prospect. Hence a firm well
commitment was included in the APA 2009 application.
The Apollo prospect was drilled in 2010 by well 16/1-14 on a multi-target concept with the primary
target being the Hugin sand on lapping the Ivar sen discovery and the secondary target being the
younger Upper Jurassic/Lower Cretaceous and Paleocene. The Hugin sand was thinner than
prognosis and found below the Ivar sen oil water contact. However, mildly biodegraded oil was
found in Paleocene sands and high shrinkage oil in a small Lower Cretaceous accumulation.
The Edvard Grieg discovery could easily have been overlooked without extensive data acquisition;
respectively coring, detailed fluid sampling and well testing. The mineralogical nature of the sand
matrix and abundance of conglomeratic pebbles made it challenging to establish the petrophysical
properties, fluid saturation and fluid contacts using electrical logs. Understanding the petrophysical
properties of the reservoir has only been achieved by detailed analysis of the cores.
The oil leg in the discovery well 16/1-8 was established by detailed fluid sampling in a zone where the
UV light showed oil in the cores with little support from the ordinary E-logs. The well was
temporarily abandoned for testing at a later date.
The first Edvard Grieg appraisal well (16/1-10) was tested by perforating and producing the upper
sand. The well test revealed that the thin sand on the top communicated with a much better
reservoir facies close to the appraisal well. The dynamic well test interpretation concluded that an
approximately 50 m thick multi-Darcy sand was required to provide the observed pressure support.
At the same time, new OBC 3D seismic acquisition techniques and geophysical methods unfolded a
better picture of the subsurface indicating a thicker reservoir west of the first appraisal well.
Encouraged by the good well test the discovery well (16/1-8) was re-entered and tested. Again a
strong pressure support was identified by the dynamic well test interpretation. The second appraisal
well (16/1-13) encountered excellent 45 m thick high permeable sandstone.
Following the Edvard Grieg discovery the Luno South well (16/1-12) was drilled and instead of
proving sediments oil bearing porous weathered basement was encountered. This discovery has a
10m shallower OWC compared to Edvard Grieg.
The well 16/1-15 was drilled to prove a potential northern extension of the Edvard Grieg discovery.
Oil was found in Valanginian age bioclastic calcareous sandstone resting directly on weathered
basement. This discovery is in pressure communication with the main reservoir and is included as

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 30 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

part of the Edvard Grieg Field. The porous basement and the bioclactic sandstone were successfully
tested. This was the first time porous basement was tested on the NOCS.
The Edvard Grieg Field has 6 different facies types that are new to the Norwegian shelf.
The Edvard Grieg discovery upgraded the Johan Sverdrup structure on the east flank of the
Haugaland High to a low risk prospect. The Johan Sverdrup discovery well 16/2-6 was located in a
position to maximise the stratigraphic information in the previously undrilled Karmsund Graben.
The Johan Sverdrup discovery well (16/2-6) encountered an oil column of 17m. The cores showed
five meters Draupne Formation shale and six meters Volgian age sand separated from the Vestland
group by a base Volgian regional unconformity. The total Jurassic thickness was 29 m with an OWC
contact at 1922 m MSL. Live oil was found vugs in caliche below the OWC at a depth of 1940 m MSL.
The Volgian sand was tested and showed extremely good reservoir properties with lateral continuity
proven by drill stem testing. The permeability was interpreted to 36000 mD resulting in a radius of
investigation of 3000 to 6000 m. The test was essential in establishing that the recoverable
resources proven by the first well was in the range of 100 - 400 million barrels of oil. The extremely
good reservoir properties and excellent lateral continuity was confirmed by the first appraisal well
16/3-4 that was drilled between the old down flank well 16/3-2 and the discovery well. The
permeability was interpreted to 35000 mD with similar investigation radii as well 16/2-6. The
extensive delineation program, including sidetracks and testing, have been essential for the rapid
unfolding of the reservoir. The later delineation wells drilled in 2011 confirmed the optimistic predrill
view of a giant oil discovery. Each new well drilled in 2012 and 2013 have given new knowledge and
learning.
The oil water contact has been varying between 1922 and 1934 m MSL. This must be understood in
the context of recent migration and remigration response to glacial induced isostatic uplift.
The Edvard Grieg discovery was covered by a 40 km 2 3D OBC in 2008. In 2009 a 1675 km2 3D
Geostreamer survey (the first on the NCS) was acquired over the Haugaland High. Following the
Johan Sverdrup discovery 2600 km2 Broadsize 3D was acquired in 2010 and 11 (the first commercial
survey on the NCS). These broadband seismic surveys are improving the imaging of the whole
sequence from sea bottom into basement.
The main new elements in the understanding of the petroleum habitat of the Haugaland High are:
Efficient migration of light oil into the prospects the last 1.5 million years through multi-Darcy
Volgian age sand when the reservoirs where beneath a depth corresponding to a temperature of
more than 800 C. Light under saturated oil flanking saturated oil and gas discovery due to Late
Miocene pressure barriers
Late Miocene inversion and Pleistocene subsidence have significant influence on the current
structuring and migration and re-migration. Glacial induced istostasy has also affected the re-
migration
New reservoir targets have been established on the Haugaland High:
Continental proximal reservoir rocks in the Edvard Grieg discovery.
Porous producible basement rocks in the Luno South and Tellus discoveries.

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Transgressive marine Volgian age sandstone with extremely good reservoir properties overlying
marine and fluvial Upper Jurassic sediment in Johan Sverdrup discovery.
Lower Cretaceous/Upper Jurassic shelf sandstone reservoirs along the west flank.
Valanginian age calcareous porous sandstone in Tellus.

Porous Zechstein has been observed in 4 wells 16/2-6, 16/2-7, 16/2-16 and 16/3-5

These new concepts have opened up for an extensive exploration campaign in surrounding licenses
on the southern Utsira High. The following prospects will be drilled in 2013:

The Luno II prospect on the south flank of the Haugaland High


The Jorvik prospect in between the 16/2-5 and Edvard Grieg Field
The Torvestad prospect
The Kopervik Volgian pinchout play
The Biotitt 4 dip Jurassic prospect
The Cliffhanger prospect

Additional leads are being matured for drilling in the years to come.

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 32 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

Unfolding the complex geology and outline of the giant Johan Sverdrup discovery through
appraisal drilling and subsurface modelling
yvind M. Skjveland, Ane Birgitte Ndtvedt and Tone Ferstad Statoil ASA
Arild Jrstad and Harald Selseng - Lundin Norway AS
The Johan Sverdrup discovery is situated on the east flank of the Utsira Basement High in the North Sea. The
discovery is located in licenses PL265 and PL501. The partners in PL265 are Statoil ASA (op) 40%, Petoro
30%, Det norske oljeselskap ASA 20% and Lundin Norway AS 10%. The partners in PL501 are Lundin
Norway AS (op) 40%, Statoil ASA 40% and Maersk Oil Norway 20%.
Following the results of Det Norskes Draupne discovery (now Ivar Aasen), Lundins Luno discovery (Now
Edvard Grieg) and Statoils Ragnarrock discovery, all drilled in 2007/2008 on the western rim of the Utsira
High and on the high itself, several companies applied for the PL501 license in the 2008 APA round. The well
16/3-2 from 1976 had proven Jurassic sand to be present on the high, and the 2007/2008 discoveries greatly
increased the likelihood of migration to the east of the high from the most likely hydrocarbon source in the
Viking Graben to the west.


Figure 1: BCU map (near top reservoir) with wells drilled to date posted. Wells 16/2-1 to 16/2-5 and 16/3-2 were drilled prior to
the discovery, the other wells are drilled after July 2010. The main Utsira basement high area is shaded. The yellow line shows the
position of the geoseismic section of figure 2.

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 33 Biennial Geophysical Seminar


Figure 2: Seismic and geoseismic section through the 16/2-6 and 16/2-8 wells. A black peak represents an increase in acoustic
impedance. The envelope of the Jurassic can be interpreted on the seismic and is marked by arrows. Location of line can be found
in figure 1.

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The first well to be drilled to test this concept, and thus the discovery well of Johan Sverdrup, was the 16/2-6
well. Following the positive results here, which included a production test (DST) showing excellent reservoir
properties and a laterally extensive upper Jurassic reservoir, this greatly increased the probability of finding oil
in a more westward position, closer to the Utsira high itself.
The 16/2-6 well sits in a location where the Jurassic reservoir thickness is fairly thin (24 meters) and thus
within one seismic cycle. The 16/2-8 well was drilled to test the Jurassic potential further to the west. It was
placed in a position closer to the main boundary fault to the Utsira High - higher on structure and in an
expected thick Jurassic package. The well found a 73 m thick Jurassic reservoir with a net-gross of 0.97,
average porosity of 29% and multi-Darcy permeability. As the pressure data confirmed communication with
the 16/2-6 well, it was now clear that what is now called the Johan Sverdrup field was a large discovery.
The reservoir in Johan Sverdrup consists mostly of late Jurassic-early Cretaceous coarse to very coarse
sandstones (Draupne Fm.) which overlies fluvial to shallow marine Middle Jurassic sandstones that form the
lower part of the reservoir section. The Draupne sandstone consists mostly of gravity flow deposits laid down
along and at the front of fan-deltas directly fed from the basement high and reworked by marine currents.
Marine reworking of the sediments has made the Draupne sandstone nearly mud-free, thus enhancing the
reservoir properties which show porosities in the range of 0.24-0.32 and permeabilities from 1-30 Darcy. The
fluvial to shallow marine Middle Jurassic reservoir (Vestland Gp.) has a more complex facies distribution. New
appraisal wells have revealed varied reservoir properties variations in NTG and sand distribution that are
below seismic resolution. In Late Tithonian age the Karmsund Graben was rapidly drowned, causing
formation of phosphatic-carbonate condensed section that preceded the deposition of deep water hot shales
(Draupne Fm.) in the eastern part of the basin. At the same time, some fine spiculitic sandstones where
deposited into the margins of the Utsira basement high, representing the younger portion of the reservoir.
An extensive appraisal drilling program has been carried out and is still ongoing in both the Statoil-operated
PL265 license and in the Lundin-operated PL501 license. Special focus on data acquisition with extensive
coring, wireline logging and dynamic data has been essential to obtain a better understanding of the reservoir
and how to develop the field. The current plan for production start-up is 2018.
Including the 16/2-6 well with spud in July 2010, 14 wells have been drilled - with an additional 5 sidetracks,
giving in average 50 days between each new data point. This pace will continue in 2013.
This presentation will aim at discussing some of the issues that are addressed with the appraisal wells and
present some results to illustrate this.
One of the major uncertainties in the field relates to depth conversion. As the top of the reservoir is generally
flat, and also since the reservoir envelope is rather thin in some areas, a few meters shift up or down can
move the contact quite a long distance laterally, with implications both for volume and drainage strategy. The
16/5-2 S well serves as an example of this the well came in dry as the overburden velocities were higher
here than predicted by the models.
The contact itself is also uncertain. Most wells show an oil-water contact of around 1921-1925 m TVD MSL,
but the 16/2-10 well proved a contact of 1934m. The recent 16/2-16 well (and sidetrack 16/2-16 A T2) was
drilled with one of the objectives to define contact, and as the deep contact was found only in the sidetrack,
this will help in constraining the area of the deep contact in this area.
The wells drilled so far have confirmed that we seem to have a reasonable good grip on the envelope of the
Jurassic, and as all wells so far have proven a tight Triassic, this is also the envelope of the main reservoir.
Even though the reservoir container is reasonably well understood, the variation of properties within the
container is more difficult to get a grip on, as the seismic not has proven to be of very much help - as wells
with a similar seismic expression have proven quite different reservoir facies.

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So far the wells have been placed in a secure distance away from the main fault that defines the western
edge of the graben, to reduce the risk of encountering alluvial conglomerates. The planned 16/2-17 well (Q2
2013) will be drilled in a position close to the fault to investigate this area.
Even though the Triassic rock has proven tight, there could be reservoir potential in deeper strata, such as in
fractured basement proven by the 16/3-4 and 16/2-12 wells, and also in Permian carbonates, which is a
secondary target for the ongoing 16/3-5 well, drilled in a setting where the Triassic is absent.
The field extent to the south and east is controlled by the contact, but towards the north and the west, the
extent is more controlled by the presence or absence of reservoir. The 16/2-9 S well was drilled in 2011 in a
small graben north of the main Johan Sverdrup graben, and encountered spiculite a rock made up of
siliceous sponge spicules that dissolve and can create good secondary porosity but usually very poor
permeability. The very modest reserves in this graben are not considered part of Johan Sverdrup.
Given the disappointing results of the 16/2-9 S well, the results of the 16/2-12 Geitungen well, drilled in 2012
on a basement terrace midway between the spiculites encountered in 16/2-9 S and the Johan Sverdrup field,
was very welcome. This well was regarded as an exploration well with a risk on reservoir presence but
when the well came in with a good reservoir, and only a thin layer of fine spiculitic sandstone at the top, the
well was reclassified as an appraisal well as the pressure data indicated communication with Johan
Sverdrup.
Following up the positive results from Geitungen, it is possible that even more resources may be added to the
Johan Sverdrup volumes this year, both to the north and to the west. An exploration well will be drilled to test
the Torvastad prospect, located to the north of the 16/2-9 S well. Also this year, a well will be drilled to the
west of the main fault in the area west of the 16/2-14 well, to test if sands are present on the basement high
itself. This prospect is called Cliffhanger North.

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The Butch Oil Discovery


Jessica Hill
Centrica Energi, Norway
Introduction
Licences PL405 and PL405B covering parts of blocks 8/10 and 7/12 are located along the Northern
margin of the oil rich North Sea Central Graben. Centrica Resources Norge AS (Centrica Energi)
drilled the exploration well 8/10-4S (as licence operator) on the Butch Main prospect which lies 8km
southeast of the producing Ula Field, and approximately 15km north of the Gyda Field, (Figure 1).
The licence partnership is comprised of Faroe Petroleum, Tullow Oil and Suncor Energy. The licence
was awarded in the APA 2006 licencing round.

Figure 1: Butch Main location map


The exploration well 8/10-4S was drilled on a salt induced four way dip closure to evaluate the
hydrocarbon bearing potential of the Upper Jurassic Ula sands sealed by the overlying Mandal shales.
The expected hydrocarbon phase was light oil due to the close proximity to the nearby Ula field and
the assumption that the structure may share the same source. Figure 2 gives an overview of the
structure, well placement and proximity of the Butch prospect in relation to the Ula Field.
The main pre-drill risk was identified as reservoir presence/quality and seal breach.
Structural Setting
The Butch Main structure was formed as a result of salt movement in the Late Cretaceous and
Palaeocene. The salt movement in this area was largely post depositional and intruded into the
overlying Late Jurassic sediments creating a four way dip closed structure around the diaper, which
has then been further segmented by faulting related to the salt movement. The faulting appears to
define three main segments, one of which is Butch Main, as shown in Figure 3.

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Figure 2: Geo-seismic cross section through the Butch area

Figure 3: Map showing Butch Main structure

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Block 8/10 is located between the Ula-Gyda Terrace and the Srvestlandet High. The Butch discovery
lies in the Central Trough within a Late Jurassic extensional basin, superimposed on the western flank
of a pre-existing Permo-Triassic basin.
Stratigraphic Setting
The overall trend of the Upper Jurassic Ula Formation is transgressive, passing from shoreface
sandstones into the overlying shelfal siltstones and claystones of the Farsund Formation. However in
detail both progradational and retrogradational cycles are present within the Formation in this area.
Sand deposition in the area is terminated by a significant regional transgressive event, leading to
deposition of hot shales such as Upper Farsund Formation and the Lower Mandal Formation which
acts as both the source rock and seal for the structure, (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Stratigraphic chart across zone of interest. Ula Formation sands present in Butch Main
have been dated as Late Kimmeridgian from biostratigraphic data.

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Well Results Summary


The 8/10-4S well was spudded on 15th August 2011 and after four sidetracks was permanently
plugged and abandoned on 15th January 2012 as a light oil discovery. The well was drilled in shallow
water depths of 44m and reached a total depth of 3071m MD RKB, 13m into Upper Permian
Zechstein anhydrites.
Well 8/10-4S only encountered an ODT, a further two sidetracks were drilled to locate the water leg
within the Butch Main segment. Two additional sidetracks were then attempted to evaluate the
neighbouring Butch Southwest segment (Figure 3), however due to wellbore stability issues both
sidetracks did not extend further than the Hordaland Formation.
An extensive data program was carried out across the Ula Formation reservoir in both the main
wellbore and sidetracks within the Butch Main segment. Approximately 50m of net pay was
encountered, and an oil water contact was confirmed using RDT pressure data. The reservoir quality
observed from core was exceptional and on trend with that observed in the neighbouring Ula Field.
Post drill recoverable volumes are estimated to be in the range of 30-60 million barrels of oil
equivalent.
Way Forward
The Butch Main discovery is currently progressing through the Centrica Energi internal decision gate
process. The Mrsk Giant has been secured to drill two exploration wells in the neighbouring Butch
East and Butch Southwest segments towards the end of 2013.
Acknowledgements
Centrica Energi would like to thank the PL405 Partners for their valued input to the licence.

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 40 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

King Lear: Rewriting the play


P. A. Jones1, J. P. Wonham2, D. Sharp1, S. Nordfjord1, M. Ekroll1, J. E. Haugen1.
1

Statoil Petroleum ASA, 2Total E&P Norge.

Summary
The King Lear prospect, located in block 2/4 in the Norwegian North Sea, was drilled in 2012 by Statoil on behalf of
PL146 and PL333 (Statoil Petroleum ASA and Total E&P Norge). In July 2012, the partnership confirmed that the highpressure high-temperature (HPHT) 2/4-21 exploration well and subsequent sidetrack appraisal had proven a gas
condensate discovery with estimated recoverable volumes between 70 and 200 million barrels of oil equivalent. This
discovery was made in turbidite sandstones of the Upper Jurassic Farsund Fm. Several wells have previously been
drilled into the Farsund Fm. in the same licence, including the 2/4-14 well in 1988-89, during which a high pressure
reservoir was encountered that ultimately led to an underground blow-out, requiring the drilling of a relief well (2/4-15)
to restore well control. In this paper we present the key objectives and results of 4 exploration wells drilled into the
Farsund Fm., and illustrate how these data led to the evolution of the play concept throughout the exploration history.
The recent integration of pressure, fluid properties, flow rate, petrophysics, geological and geophysical data to further
evaluate conceptual reservoir depositional models, which resulted in the drilling of the 2/4-21 & 2/4-21 A wells is also
presented.
Introduction (or Geological setting / Play context)
The King Lear discovery is located in the Central Graben, approximately 20km north of the Ekofisk Field, and 300km
southwest of Stavanger (Figure 1, left). The discovery lies in a northwest-southeast trending half-graben between the
Hidra High / Steinbit Terrace to the northeast, and the Feda Graben to the southwest. The Farsund Fm. contains turbidite
sandstone reservoirs regionally sourced from the time-equivalent shallow marine platform to the north, encased by the
source rocks of the Haugesund, Farsund and Mandal fms, which also provide a seal to the reservoir (Figure 1, right).

Figure 1: Left: Licence map of PL146, PL333 and surrounding area, highlighting the extent of the King Lear gas
condensate discovery, and locations of key wells. Right: Lithostratigraphic chart, illustrating a simplified play concept
of Farsund Formation turbidite sandstone reservoirs.

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Exploration history: 1988 - 1994


The following section presents a brief overview of the drilling operations in PL146, with a focus on the geological
information acquired, and input to evolution of play concepts and prospectivity of the Farsund Fm.
PL146 was awarded in 1988 to a partnership consisting of, at that time, operator Saga Petroleum ASA, and partners Den
norske stats oljeselskap a.s., Elf Petroleum Norge AS, and Amerada Hess Norge AS.
2/4-14: In October 1988, well 2/4-14 was spudded on the A prospect in the middle of the northwest-southeast trending
structure described as a structural/stratigraphic closure on a rotated fault block developed during the Upper Jurassic
(Final well report 2/4-13 & 14, 1990), see Figure 2 for the well location relative to current interpretations. The objective
of the well was to evaluate the reservoir potential of the expected Upper Jurassic sandstones, and to TD 150m into the
Triassic. In January 1989 the well encountered an Upper Jurassic sandstone reservoir at high pressure resulting in a kick
(Saga Petroleum, 1991). A cement plug was set, with the intention of drilling a sidetrack to fulfill the well objectives.
During preparations for sidetracking on 20th January 1989, the cement plug failed, and the well started flowing. The
BOP was closed and the drill pipe cut.
During June 1989, 2/4-14 was re-entered with the intention of killing the well. On re-connection, unexpectedly low
pressure readings were encountered in the wellbore subsequent PLT (Production Logging Tool) and noise logs
indicated the reservoir fluid had breached the casing, and was likely charging shallower sandstone beds. This information
combined with repeated shallow seismic data acquisition confirmed that an underground blow-out was in progress,
which thankfully did not breach the seafloor, charging sandstone beds at 828-878m MSL.
Continued attempts to regain control of 2/4-14 and stop the flow into the subsurface using a top-kill approach were
unsuccessful. Instead the 2/4-15S relief well was used to intersect the open hole section of 2/4-14 and kill the well. The
2/4-14 well was killed by the relief well on 12th December 1989.
Upper Jurassic gas and condensate had been flowing into the mapped shallow sandstone unit for up to 326 days. During
this period, several data sets were collected to aid in the killing of the well, including flow and temperature
measurements, and fluid samples from the well head.
2/4-16: In May 1991, well 2/4-16 was spudded 925m to the southeast of 2/4-14, with the primary objective of evaluating
the reservoir potential of the same Upper Jurassic reservoir sandstones indicated by the 2/4-14 well (Saga Petroleum,
1992). The well penetrated 58m of Farsund Fm., but failed to encounter any reservoir sandstones. The absence of
Farsund Fm. reservoir sands in the well necessitated a re-evaluation of the seismic data and geological models.
These results indicated the Farsund reservoir sandstone tagged by 2/4-14 is pinched-out, or eroded in between the two
wells. It was thus concluded that the main zone of interest had to be in a more proximal setting in relation to the two
wells, down-dip towards the north.
2/4-18 R: Well 2/4-18 R was spudded in February 1994 with the primary objective to test the reservoir potential of the
Upper Jurassic Wedge. The well drilled 538m of Farsund Fm. in total. Thin, sandstone stringers were encountered in
what was later defined as the Farsund 2 unit, and two cores were taken, however neither recovered any reservoir
section. Pressure measurements were attempted, largely without success as the sand stringers were mainly thin or
cemented. Successful pressure points were however taken from the 2 thickest sandstones (3 and 5m thick respectively),
with later fluid sampling attempts being unsuccessful. Insufficient pressure points were available to analyse the fluid
density.
Post-well petrophysical analysis concluded the Farsund 2 sandstone unit (gross 27m, net 8.2m, main sand 5m net) to be
hydrocarbon bearing (average hydrocarbon saturation 52%), with 17% porosity at a depth of 5095-5122m MSL. The
deeper 5m thick sand encountered in the Farsund 1 unit was water bearing, in a higher pressure regime than the Farsund
2 sandstone (Saga Petroleum, 1994). The 2/4-18R well was completed without well control problems, and was
permanently plugged and abandoned as a well with strong shows (NPD fact pages).

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Figure 2: South-northeast
oriented sketch geo-seismic
depth-section (based on
2011 seismic data and
interpretations), illustrating
the location of Farsund Fm.
well penetrations in PL146.
Inset map shows the cross
section location (blue line)
and well positions on a
2010 Top Farsund 2
sandstone depth map.

Data evaluation and integration


Following the initially disappointing 2/4-18 R well results, re-evaluation of all prospective plays in the licence was
undertaken, and included the award of PL333 in 2004. Alongside evaluation of Permian, Triassic, Lower and Middle
Jurassic and Cretaceous plays, the Farsund Fm. was further evaluated. Given the history of the Farsund Fm. in
PL146/333, this involved integrating a wide range of datasets requiring a multidisciplinary approach incorporating the
expertise of drilling engineers, reservoir engineers, petroleum engineers, well flow/test specialists, high
resolution/shallow seismic specialists, petrophysicists, geochemists, and geologists and geophysicists.
The re-evaluation of three key datasets/concepts was fundamental to an improved understanding of the Farsund Fm.
play:
1) Petrophysics:
A reinvestigation of the petrophysics and gas readings of the 2/4-18R well led to a revision of calculated gas saturations
up to 80%, however in a thinner net pay of 3m in the Farsund 2 unit sandstone. In addition, the gas saturation was
observed to be shut-off abruptly at the base of the sand, implying a gas-down-to (GDT) situation.
2) Material balance:
Pressure observations and measurements from the 2/4-14 & 15S wells indicated that there was pressure depletion in the
Farsund sandstone reservoir in response to the underground blow out. The 2/4-18 R well, drilled some 4 years after the
2/4-14 well was killed, also indicated a pressure depletion. This observation implied that the 2/4-14 & 18 R wells could
be in pressure communication on a production timescale.
By combining these observations with fluid composition data (2/4-14 and analogues), known production rates from
PLT logs, and duration of the flow, it was possible to evaluate the system in terms of Material Balance. By solving the
equation for an ideal gas (given some key assumptions and data from the two wells), it was possible to ascertain the
volume of hydrocarbons initially in-place, and thus estimate the present day prospect volume.
As the data input to this method were not acquired under controlled conditions (pressure, fluid properties and flow rates),
there was, inevitably a wide spread of uncertainty on the volumes calculated. Despite this uncertainty the resulting

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predicted volumes were considered significant and interesting enough to further mature the prospect towards a drillable
candidate.
3) Depositional model:
It should be noted that a material balance approach implies nothing about the location of the container or tank within
which the volumes are reservoired.
Given the relatively thin net sand in the Farsund 2 unit penetrated by 2/4-18R (5m), and unknown thickness in 2/4-14, in
order to contain the volumes calculated from the material balance, the net pay thickness over the structure would need to
be significantly thicker than previously penetrated by the wells.
Coupled with new seismic data and detailed interpretations of the internal stratigraphy of the Farsund Formation, a
model of a potential depocenter with the deepest parts of the half-graben was proposed. This was built on the same belief
before the 2/4-18R well that the reservoir most likely lies in a more proximal setting than the 2/4-14 & 16 wells. This
model accounted for an increase in accommodation space, the palaeotopography of the depositional surface, and
proximity to sand source locations.
2/4-21 King Lear discovery well
By combining the three fundamental concepts referred to above, it was possible to produce an internally consistent
prospect evaluation that tied together all of the data available to mitigate the wide uncertainties present in several of the
analyses. It is this approach that led to the 2/4-21 drill decision. The main objectives of the 2/4-21 well were to prove a
well-developed hydrocarbon bearing reservoir, with pressure data confirming the communication between 2/4-14, 18R &
21.
In 2/4-21, good quality permeable hydrocarbon bearing sandstone was proven on depth and within thickness prognosis at
a depth of over 5000m. Extensive wireline, pressure, core data and fluid samples were acquired. Sidetrack 2/4-21 A was
drilled down-flank approximately 500m to the northwest of the main well to evaluate the variability in reservoir
development and quality and pressure communication, and confirm the deeper extension of the hydrocarbon column. All
of these objectives were met.
Summary/conclusions
Prospect models based on different types of data input: (1) depositional concept; (2) petrophysical analysis and
observations, and (3) material balance model, generated a wide range of prospect analyses. Successful integration of
these different approaches has added to the overall confidence of the resultant prospect volumetrics.
The results of the 2/4-21 & A wells confirmed the model used in the pre-drill evaluations. Good quality reservoir
sandstone, of the prognosed thickness was proven, and in pressure communication with the Farsund 2 sandstones in the
2/4-14 and 2/4-18R wells. These results were achieved without any significant HSE incidents and on schedule in a
HPHT area with a history of well control problems. This is testament to the strong focus on good procedures and solid
knowledge in the planning and operation of the well from Statoil, drilling contractors and partners.
Acknowledgements
The authors acknowledge the PL146 & PL333 partnership (Statoil Petroleum ASA and Total E&P Norge) for permission
to present this paper. The authors also wish to thank the numerous colleagues, partners, and contractors for their
dedicated work during the 25 years of exploration history briefly summarised in this paper.
References
2/4-14 Experience Transfer Seminar, Saga Petroleum, 1991.
Final well reports 2/4-13 & 14, 16, 18R, Saga Petroleum, 1990-1994.
NPD fact pages http://factpages.npd.no

Biennial Geophysical Seminar 44 Biennial Geophysical Seminar

Hunting for deepwater subtle traps: from geology to technology


Colin J Grant, Francesco Menapace, Uisdean Nicholson, Dominic McCormick, Ciaran OByrne,
Gabriel Guerra & Jim Pickens

SHELL E & P
Post-rift, deepwater stratigraphic traps, the main theme of this presentation, have proven highly
material where they have a large connected reservoir pore volume and are associated with a rich,
active petroleum system. Significant discoveries of this type include the Marlim, Roncador,
Albacora, and Mexilhao fields from offshore Brazil, the Foinhaven and Schiehallion fields from
the West Shetland Basin, and Ceiba, Jubilee, Tweneboa and Enyenra from offshore West Africa.
Similar subtle traps are also a common success theme in syn- and post-rift stratigraphy of
intracratonic rift basins such as the North Sea and likely occur in other underexplored rift, sag
and post-rift basins globally. In other areas, however, successful traps have proven to be less
than commercial in size. In this contribution, we will look at the trapping styles that are
commonly encountered, the seismic technology used to help identify these, the statistics behind
these discoveries, and from these identify some of the pitfalls awaiting those eager to join the
hunt but for whom geology or serendipity do not favour.
Deepwater Subtle Traps
Two fundamental subtle trap types that recur in deepwater fields with a stratigraphic trapping
component are pinch-out or wedge traps and erosional truncation traps. The former occur
when deepwater sandstones on-lap onto a paleo-slope, while the latter rely upon local or
regional unconformities to create sealing geometries. Between these end-member groups occur
stratigraphic-structural combination traps that represent the bulk of producing traps. Table 1
shows a synthesis of selected trap types determined from published literature and in-house
evaluation. Graphic examples of some of those listed will be shown in the presentation.
Table 1: A selection of DW turbidite traps with a stratigraphic trap component

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Hunting for subtle traps: Role of Modern Technology


Today, high fidelity marine 3D seismic imaging and advances in computing technology have
made the identification of subtle stratigraphic traps using horizon and interval attribute
mapping a standardized interpretation workflow. Multiple technologies exist for rapid screening
of multi-attribute volumes to discriminate reservoir fairways, trapping elements and reservoir
fluids. With older (pre-Cenozoic) plays or at depths that are below the conventional AvO floor,
rock properties can make fluid prediction difficult or impossible even if there is good rockproperty calibration available. Shell has developed its own proprietary software for rapid volume
screening that provides a fast and efficient way of searching for reservoir fairways. We also have
2D based technologies that can quickly identify stratigraphic pinch-outs. Other technologies that
are used routinely to enhance trap understanding are contour or opacity stacking, seismic
inversion methods such as elastic impedance inversion, and other quantitative interpretation
products aimed at differentiating fluids and reservoirs. However, if the seismic data is bandlimited, noisy or both, painstaking loop-level mapping is often needed to augment or replace
these more sophisticated methods.
Despite the recent advances in interpretative technology, it is important to remember that the
foundations of exploration success in deepwater plays are often laid down at the acreage
selection stage. Success begins with selection of the right basin, the right play and the right
acreage with the right level of commitment. It involves prudent multi-disciplinary basin
evaluation. Often potential fields, 2D seismic, surface geology and play analogue data are only of
evaluation. Many of the successes mentioned in this article were made based on solid regional
geological foundations that did not rely upon interpretation technology, per se.
The Gold Rush
Since the discovery of the giant Jubilee field by Kosmos Energy in 2007 in Turonian-age
deepwater turbidite reservoirs offshore Ghana, the increased pace of exploration along the West
African continental margin can be compared to a gold rush. A similar phenomenon has recently
propagated around the eastern seaboard of Africa in light of recent spectacular successes
offshore Mozambique and Tanzania, albeit chasing a Paleogene deepwater gas play. This

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appetite for deepwater acreage has had an impact on the dynamics of the exploration industry.
There are now many more and smaller players operating within this arena than five years ago
and, as a result, there is little prospective open acreage remaining. But as with all gold rushes,
there will be those who chose wisely and find success, by their own measure, and there will be
those who wont.
Many of the new entrants that have rushed into the African deepwater scene are small to midcap companies that are likely to be under-capitalized for the commitments they have taken on.
Deepwater exploration wells now routinely cost between US$60 150 MM each. There have
also been marked increases in surety-bond liability insurance for deepwater operations
following the Macondo incident. A direct consequence of this high-cost environment is that as
PSCs mature and drilling deadlines approach, equity divestment becomes a necessity. Ioffshore
Africa, deal flow is going though an up cycle that is a direct consequence of the high cost of
deepwater exploration and the difficulty in securing venture capital for drilling operationally
and technically difficult wells. Deal flow opens the back door to more conservative corporations
that have an appetite for relatively low-risk deepwater exploration. However, substantial
financial risks await those who rush into complex deepwater plays without a good
understanding of the technical challenges, especially with promotes on equity running as high as
three-for-one in some deals.
So all of this begs the question, is the West African Cretaceous deepwater turbidite play
currently being hyped by an industry desperate for venture capital, or do the plays warrant
continued high exploration expenditure in the light of recent exploration success? Below, we will
finish this paper with a look at statistics from exploration drilling, field size estimates and
published reservoir data to a plausible answer to this question.
All that is Gold does not Glitter
The graph in Figure 1 shows a creaming curve compiled for the West African Upper Cretaceous
deepwater turbidite play. Of the 62 exploration tests in the population sampled, there have been
47 exploration discoveries (an astounding 76% technical success rate). A success rate such as
this is as much testament to fine exploration acumen as it is to the trapping potential of
deepwater depositional systems. From these there are estimated to be around 17 fields that have
been, are being or have potential to be commercialized under existing fiscal and cost
environments (a 27% commercial success rate). High technical and modest commercial success
spells good news for some as it makes the marketing of undrilled opportunities much easier. It
also makes for an easier sell to management when contemplating a farm-in. But creaming curve
and success statistics can often be misleading. Discovery sizes and reservoir statistics add much
more to the discussion.

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Figure 1: West African Upper Cretaceous Deepwater Creaming Curve (data sourced from Wood
Mackenzie, data and other open sources).
A field-size distribution chart created from a global dataset comprising deepwater reservoir
traps that have a stratigraphic trapping component is shown in Figure . Also shown in this chart
is a separation of fields based on reservoir classification. Slope-channel/valley discoveries differ
in size by almost an order of magnitude from discoveries interpreted as confined/unconfined
apron reservoirs.
The post-rift, West African Upper Cretaceous turbidite play of the transform margin basins
comprises sandstones deposited mostly within a slope-channel valley setting. These somewhat
inferior quality reservoirs contrast sharply with the quartz-rich, higher-net-to-gross confined
and/or unconfined toe-of-slope apron systems that are more common in the Paleogene of
offshore Brazil, West-of-Shetland, Mozambique and in the North Sea. Finding modest oil
volumes in poorer quality, often thin channelized reservoirs in tough PSC contract environments
and in deepwater does not make commerciality easy. These observations might explain a
widening gap through time between the technical and commercial success rates across West
African basins as well as the increased pace of deal flow in PSCs in which discoveries have been
made.
Over the next couple of years the rapid pace of exploration drilling will eventually uncover
whether or not the spectacular successes and high resource densities found within the Tano
basin, West Africa and more recently from the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin offshore Brazil, can be
repeated elsewhere along the transform and rift margins on both sides of the Atlantic Basin.

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Figure 2 Global field-size distributions compiled from deepwater turbidite discoveries with a
stratigraphic trapping component. The mean field size from the global distribution is 450
MMBOE. The global distribution is separated into two parts based on reservoir depositional
setting: channel/valley and confined/unconfined apron. There is an order of magnitude
difference in mean field size between these, posting mean field sizes of 100 and 930 MMBOE,
respectively.

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The Mamba Complex supergiant gas discovery: an example of turbidite


fans modified by deepwater tractive bottom currents.
Franco Fonnesu

Marco Orsi1

Eni E&P, Via Emilia 1, 20097 San Donato Milanese (MI), Italy

The huge gas discoveries recently made in Mozambique deep water in both Area 1
(operated by Anadarko) and Area 4 (operated by Eni, with partners ENH, Galp and
Kogas) have clearly shown that the Palaeogene turbidite succession represents the
main exploration target in both areas. In Area 4 these gas-bearing reservoirs have
been indicated with the general term of Mamba Complex. Within the Mamba
Complex each sandstone reservoir package, that can attain thicknesses on the order
of some hundreds of metres, is interpreted to represent a basin floor fan accumulation
(sensu Posamentier and Walker 2006) deposited by sand-rich gravity flows during
lowstands via slope channels and/or canyons originally connected with a shelf area
thought to be located several tens of km westward of Area 4.
With the Miocene, due to the gravitative sliding of the slope, these sediment transfer
conduits and part of the terminal fans were progressively incorporated within the
advancing deformation front of the east-verging toe thrust system. The most
advanced thrust front runs close to the boundary between Area 1 and Area 4. The
Area 4, apart from a gently eastward structural dipping and some NW-SE normal
faults, can be considered as fundamentally undeformed. This relatively simple
structural situation has allowed to reconstruct in detail the external geometry of the
fans enlightening that most of the Oligocene and Eocene systems appear to be
characterized by seismic geometry and lateral facies changes that are unusual in
normal gravity-flow dominated systems: i.e.(1) a marked channel asymmetry with
constant southward shifting of sand depocenters (2)Fan tops constantly showing a
lateral passage from sand to shale responses along gently southward dipping seismic
reflections, (3) local presence of fan-detached sediment waves.
According to the writers previous experience in Atlantic-type deep-water passive
margins (i.e Angola, Nigeria, Gabon), the Mamba Complex reservoir units are
anomalous either in terms of thickness or sand content with respect to the turbidite
systems usually found in these settings. The difference is that the Mamba fans appear
extremely sand-rich, coarse-grained and developed with thicknesses that never have
been directly observed (or described in the literature). In other words, with very few
exceptions, the thick-bedded coarse-grained turbidites that constitute the bulk of the
fan units (Facies F5 sensu Mutti, 1992) are noticeable for the lack of vertically
associated fine-grained facies deposited by the dilute and turbulent part of turbidity
currents (Facies F8 and F9). Where preserved and cored, the finer-grained facies
show strong evidence of transport and deposition affected by the interaction of
turbidite turbulent flow and bottom-current motion: i.e (i) repeated vertical passages,
within the same bed, between parallel lamination and ripples indicating velocity
pulsations; (ii) presence of mud-drapes within the small-scale cross-laminae; (iii) bidirectionality of the cross-laminae within the same bed; (iiii) shale clasts embedded
within fine-grained sand layers. These anomalous structures, combined with the
seismic geometries above described, support the idea of a possible winnowing and
redistribution of the finer materials operated by the action of northward flowing sindepositional bottom currents capable to deflect and incorporate within the adjacent
sediment drifts the fine-grained sediments delivered by the gravity flows.

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ABSTRACT
Successful exploration in mature areas; - recipe from Revus and Agora stories
Svein Ilebekk, Cairn Energy UK/Norway
Revus Energy AS was established in late December 2002, financially supported by
HiTec and 3i with a total committed capital of 50 mills USD. The business model was to
organically build an exploration portfolio and to acquire production for tax purposes. The
company was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2005 and was later taken over by
Wintershall in December 2008. At the start in 2002/2003 the activity on NCS was low,
less than 20 E & P companies were active and only 15-20 exploration and appraisal
wells were drilled each year. The oil price was 20 USD when we started the company.
Agora was formed late 2009, in the middle of the financial crises. As the framework
conditions had changed since we formed Revus and activity level was relative high, the
business model for Agora included exploration drilling on both the UK and Norwegian
continental shelves. The financial support, 200 mills USD, was provided by RIT Capital
Partners plc and Lord Rothschilds family interests. After initial successful exploration
results Agora was taken over by Cairn Energy early 2012.
During the 10 years of activity in Revus and Agora the companies acquired a number of
licences in which there have been a number of discoveries made before and/or after we
were taken over by Wintershall and Cairn. In total the two companies have been
involved in more than 20 discoveries on the UK and Norwegian continental shelves. The
first of these to be put on stream, Knarr (PL373, BG operator), will start production in
2015. The aggregated forward modeled gross and net productions profiles from the
major discoveries indicate 200000-250000 boepd and 60000-80000 boepd respectively
in the period 2016-2024.
How to make such an exploration success? Its a team effort, involving Revus/Agora
teams as well as licence partners and stimulated by the UK and Norwegian authorities.
The key success factors are:

Fit for purpose business plan adjusted to existing framework conditions


The very best exploration team
Sufficient financing to support forward plan (3-5 years)
Good interaction between Board, Management and Employees
Incentives to all staff, openness, ownership and dedication
Monitor and measure predicted performance against actual outcomes

Today the exploration activity level on NCS and UKCS are at peak; - strong competition
for quality acreage, lack of technical resources, cost increase and rig market vacuum for
available slots. Is it possible to duplicate the Revus/Agora story? Yes, it is possible, but
will require the very best technical team available in the market, a focused business
plan and sufficient funding (300-500 mills USD) and a bit of luck.

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Revived exploration on the flanks of Troll


Vegard Gunleiksrud, Tor Veggeland, Richard Olstad, Per Baky,
Andr Janke, Kristian Angard, Harald Aubert, Per Avseth and Reidar Mller
Tullow Oil Norge AS, Tordenskiolds gt 6B, 0160 Oslo, Norway
The giant Troll oil and gas Field (Fig. 1) was successfully discovered and appraised by Shell
and Norsk Hydro in the late 70s and early 80s. On the northern flanks of Troll, the Fram
Field structures were discovered by Mobil and Norsk Hydro during a second successful
exploration phase in the 90s. During the last 30 years eight dry wells have been drilled on
the western and eastern flanks of Troll.
A general perception (e.g. Goldsmith 2000, Horstad et al 1997) is that more hydrocarbons
than what yet is discovered may have migrated into and through the Troll Field. As we
understand, there is no established model for spill or leakage out of Troll. Four wells East of
Troll targeted the spill route out of Troll, but the structures were proven dry.
Tullow Oil Norge, as operator of the partnerships PL 550 and 551, has identified several
prospects both on the migration route into the Troll Field and on the migration route out of the
field. The model for the significant Kuro prospect implies a new explanation of the controlling
mechanisms of the Troll Field hydrocarbon contacts. Tullow Oil will operate one well in 2013
(PL551) and one well in 2014 (PL550) in order to test some of the identified prospectivity.
As the flanks of the Troll Field had been thoroughly explored through several exploration
phases during three decades, we tried to use some alternative approaches in order to define
prospectivity. Our highest ranked prospects on the flanks of Troll are to a large degree
resulting from the following not-so-traditional elements:

Ultra Far Offset seismic data valuable info from data formerly regarded as garbage

Injectite sandstone reservoirs not a traditional play in this area

Alternative source basin giving life to well known structures formerly regarded too
risky

Fig 1. BCU twt map with fields and discoveries (incl. elements from PGS Mega Merge grid)

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The PL551 Mantra prospect will be drilled in 2013. Mantra is a 147 mboe oil prospect
supported by a depth consistent seismic anomaly in a rotated Jurassic fault block (Fig.2).
The main reservoir is in the late Jurassic Sognefjord Fm, proven as excellent in the Troll
Field. The main challenge with the Mantra prospect is source and migration, assuming a
main model for sourcing from the marginally mature Heather Fm. at the Uer Terrace.
Alternative models include migration from mature Draupne and Heather Fms. in (1) the Sogn
Graben via the Skarfjell oil discovery and (2) the Lomre Terrace.

Fig. 2. Cross section through licenses PL550 and PL551 demonstrating the relationship between the
northern tip of the Troll Field and the identified prospects and leads.

The 2013 Mantra well will also test the significant Kuro prospect in a down-flank position.
Kuro is a 118 GSm3 Paleocene gas prospect. Seismic and well observations on the eastern
flanks of Troll indicate that Paleocene Ty Fm. sandstones are in direct communication with
the Sognefjord Fm. Troll gas pay. The Ty Fm. sandstones are interpreted to be the source
(parent) of a large scale Paleocene injectite sandstone complex (Fig. 3). Extrapolated Troll
gas pressure gradient intersects the regional minimum fracture gradient at depth of the Kuro
prospect apex. The apex of the Kuro prospect may act as a pressure valve for the entire Troll
Field, and could hold a gas column of 550m in dynamic equilibrium. This hydrodynamic
trap/valve model is supported by pockmarks and significant shallow gas observations in the
overburden above the Kuro apex.
In the late Jurassic syn-rift succession several stratigraphic trap prospects are identified.
Ultra Far offset seismic data have been key in identifying these prospects. The PL550
Gotama prospect is defined by an ultra far offset seismic anomaly very similar to anomalies
matching the Fram and Troll Field outlines. The main reservoir of the Gotama prospect is
intra Draupne Fm. sandstone, believed to be re-deposited Sognefjord Fm. sandstones
eroded off a paleo Troll high.

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Tullow Oil Norge holds 5 licenses around the Troll Field, and we believe there is still a
substantial potential for discoveries on the flanks of Troll. Drilling activity the next few years
will prove whether the prospect models are right or wrong. To be continued . (Exploration
Revived 2015?)

Fig 3. The Kuro prospect: Paleocene sand injectite complex in direct communication with the gas pay
of the Troll Field. Extrapolated Troll gas pressure gradient intersects the regional minimum fracture
gradient at depth of the Kuro apex (1000 mSS). The apex of the Kuro prospect may act as a pressure
valve for the entire Troll Field, and could hold a gas column of 550m in dynamic equilibrium. This
hydrodynamic trap/valve model is supported by shallow gas and pockmark observations in overburden
above the Kuro Apex.

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Abstract:

The 35/9-6S Titan Discovery

Torodd Nordlie, Egil Lind and Kristine Rossavik


RWE Dea Norge AS
The Titan discovery was made by the 35/9-6S well drilled in November/December 2010 in
PL420 in the Northern North Sea approximately 16 km west of the Gja Field. PL420 was
awarded in APA 2006 and the license is operated by RWE Dea with 30% equity. Partners are
Statoil with 40% and Idemitsu with 30%.
The Ryggsteinen Ridge has been underexplored for many years due to poor seismic imaging
(complex overburden) and overlooked positive signs from two old wells regarded as
disappointing at the time of drilling (35/11-1 and 35/8-5S). The recent exploration success on
Grosbeak, Titan and Skarfjell has changed this picture, and opened up for follow up potential on
the Ryggsteinen Ridge and a high exploration activity level.
The primary exploration target for the Titan well was to prove petroleum in Middle Jurassic
reservoir rocks (the Brent Group). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in
Upper Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Heather Formation) and in the Lower Jurassic reservoir
rocks (the Cook Formation).
Oil and gas was proven in the Titan well over a gross column of more than 400 meters at five
reservoir levels in the Heather Formation, the Brent Group, the Drake Formation and the Cook
Formation. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 3664 meters and was terminated in Upper
Triassic rocks. Several faults were penetrated in the well and have created some uncertainty to
the true thickness of the Callovian and Cook reservoir units.
The reservoir levels in the Titan well are in different pressure regimes, and no hydrocarbonwater contacts were encountered. Oil was discovered in the two upper reservoir zones and
gas/condensate in the three lower reservoir zones. The PVT modeling suggests that the zones
containing gas/condensate will contain oil deeper on the structure. The oil and condensate
samples from the five reservoir zones also have comparable geochemical characteristics, so the
only difference is the amount of methane.
The Titan well was drilled on a structural closure, and further to the south faults with possible
sealing potential are mapped. Since no oil-water contact was penetrated in the well it is
uncertain if the discovery is just the four-way structure or if Titan could be a hanging-wall fault
trap with a larger areal extension. Due to these uncertainties appraisal drilling is needed to
ascertain the volumes of the Titan discovery. The current P50 Titan recoverable resource
estimate is 12 million Sm3 of oil equivalents.
A 3D seismic survey (RD1201) was acquired by RWE Dea in the spring 2012. The survey was
originally planned for the spring 2011, just after the discovery well, but was one year delayed
due to fishery restrictions. As a result of the Skarfjell discovery in PL418 the RD1201 survey
was extended into PL418 and PL378. The new 3D seismic data will be used to position the

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Titan appraisal well planned to be drilled late 2013 and to map further exploration potential in
the PL420 license.

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Extended abstract:
The 35/9-7, Skarfjell Discovery, The Skarfjell Discovery:
Jens-Ole Koch, Sabine Rssle, Geert Strik, Bernhard Frey, Marius Brundiers & Rolf Magne Pettersen,
Wintershall Norge AS

The Skarfjell discovery was made by the 35/9-7 well drilled in March to April of 2012 in PL418 in the
Northern North Sea, 17kms southwest of the Gja Field. The well found two intra Heather sandstone
sections with light oil and good reservoir quality. The discovery is situated on the Ryggsteinen Ridge
between the Titan (35/9-6S) and Grosbeak (35/12-2) discoveries.
A stratigraphic trap is formed by up-dip truncation of the intra Heather sands by an intra Volgian/Base
Draupne unconformity towards the SE and a slope dipping towards the NE. The vertical height from the
mapped crest of the structure around 2400m to the mapped potential spill-point is approximately
600m. The majority of the trap is situated in PL418 but extends in to the PL378 towards the South. In the
largest scenarioes the trap may extend into the PL420. The area is covered by an old 3D seismic survey
of relative poor quality and a recent survey acquired in 2012.
The two intra Heather sands consist of high density gravity flow deposits and slope channel sandstones
deposited in an offshore marine environment. The upper reservoir section is of Middle Oxfordian age
whereas the lower section is likely to be Bathonian. The gross and net reservoir thickness is 69/49m for
the upper sand and 14/6m for the lower sand. The sands are deposited immediately northwest and west
of the time equivalent shallow marine sandstones of the Sognefjord and Krossfjord Formations in the
Gja, Fram East and Troll Fields.
Both intra Heather sandstones were saturated with light oil of good quality to the base of the reservoirs
in an ODT situation. The ODT was found 260m below the mapped crest of the structure in the upper
sand and 360m below the crest in the lower sand. Based on the PVT data Skarfjell may have a gas cap
updip of the discovery well. The oils in the two sands have slightly different density and composition and
fall on the same pressure gradient within one bar.
The Skarfjell structure is cut by a series of northwest-southeast trending normal faults formed by
extension during several episodes in the Late Jurassic. The faults are relatively short and the reservoir is
likely to be connected through non faulted areas and across faults with small throw. The faults are likely
to have been active during deposition of the intra Heather sandstones which are generally thought to be
thickening downdip.
Due to the relative poor quality of the seismic data and the location of the discovery at, or close to, the
shallow marine to offshore depositional transition, there is a significant uncertainty on the reservoir
distribution, in addition to the reservoir thickness and quality. Furthermore the depth of the OWC is still
unknown and the presence and thickness of a gas cap is uncertain.

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These uncertainties are the focus of the appraisal program which consists of a Skarfjell North appraisal
well in PL418 and a Skarfjell South appraisal well in PL378. The main objectives of the two appraisal
wells and optional sidetracks are to find the hydrocarbon contacts and to acquire 3-4 reservoir
penetrations with a full set of reservoir data including a DST in one of the wellbores.
Wintershall Norge AS thanks the partners: Agora Oil & Gas, Bayerngas Norge AS, Edison International
Norway Branch & RDE Dea Norge AS for permission to publish this extended abstract.

P50 GOC
2553 m
TVDSS
Crest at 2394
m TVDSS

IH2 ODT 35/9-7 at 2660 m TVDSS

General
Spillpoint at
2990 m TVDSS

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Constructed Top Oxfordian Turbidites IH2 Depth Map


35/9-7 CPI
showing very
good
reservoir
quality of
Intra Heather
Sandstones 1
& 2.

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Arbitrary
seismic line
from the
RD1201 3D
seismic
survey across
the Skarfjell
Discovery

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