EXPLORATION INNOVATION PRIZE

THE THREE FINALISTS ARE 

 

CARA, KAYAK & ZUMBA

The Winner is CARA

 

GeoPublishing and The Geological Society of Norway congratulate Neptune Energy and the CARA exploration team with the 1st Exploration Innovation Award.

The three finalists of the Exploration Innovation Award 2018, instigated by GeoPublishing AS and the Geological Society of Norway, have all shown courage, creativity and innovative spirit in drilling high risk, unconventional prospects that brings our industry forward.

The three finalists were Cara (Neptune Energy), Kayak (Equinor) and Zumba (Tullow).

The drilling of 36/7-4 Cara targeted a Lower Cretaceous stratigraphic trap on the Hordaland Platform in the North Sea. Based on detailed analysis of a downdip well with oil shows, a new prospect was defined by a highly dedicated team. The lesson learned is that oil companies should deliberately search for stratigraphic traps in areas known to be oil and gas prone.

The Cara discovery is also important because it reopens “the Agat play model” that has not been tested for a long time. In short, the winner Cara has brought valuable inspiration to a well-known, but rarely tested trap type on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Cara was presented by Tina Rasmussen Olsen in Neptune Energy, Lars Ole Løseth in Equinor presented Kayak, and Per Avseth presented Zumba on behalf of the Tullow exploration team. We want to thank all the teams for their excellent presentations. The high quality of the presentations made it a close race between all three finalists. The jury deliberated, and in the end Cara came out on top.

 

The CARA team
Jan Åge Greger
Steve Bryant
Sigbjørn Kalvenes
Gunilla Andreasson Steen
Bernhard Frey
Phil Hughes
Alv Aanestad
Tina Rasmussen Olsen

CARA – 36/7-4

NEPTUNE ENERGY / PL636 North Sea 2016

The objective of the well was to prove petroleum in a stratigraphic trap in Early Cretaceous reservoir rocks (Agat formation).

The same prospect was tested by Norsk Hydro in 2002 with well 36/7-3 but the well was reported dry. Later work by Engie and partners led them to believe that 36/7-3 has a few meters of oil pay in the very top of the Agat formation and therefore just missed a larger column up-flank of the location (i.e. a prime example of “missed pay”). Hence, 36/7-4 Cara was drilled successfully up-flank and proved oil and gas very in such quantities that the discovery is likely to be commercial.

It is most likely a “play opening well” as it has proven that Cretaceous sandstones can make up commercial targets.

Link to press release

KAYAK – 7219/9-2

EQUINOR / PL532 Barents Sea 2017

The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Early Cretaceous reservoir rocks (top part of the Kolje formation). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in somewhat older Early Cretaceous reservoir rocks (lower part of the Kolje formation).

Well 7219/9-2 encountered oil in two sandstone intervals with thicknesses of 27 and 18 metres, with moderate to poor reservoir quality in the upper part of the Kolje formation. The oil-water contact was not encountered. Reservoir rocks were not encountered in the lower part of the Kolje formation.

This prospect is assumed to be a stratigraphic trap that is associated with a strong CSEM-anomaly, that is coincident with a bright seismic event. This is the first discovery in Lower Cretaceous sandstones in the Barents Sea and should be considered a play opening well in syn-rift Aptian strata.

Link to press release

ZUMBA – 6507/11-11

TULLOW / PL591 Norwegian Sea 2015

The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Upper Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Rogn formation). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in the Middle Jurassic Garn formation, which is part of the Fangst group.

The well did not encounter reservoir rocks in the Rogn formation. The well encountered about 35 metres of reservoir rocks in the Garn formation, of which about 25 metres were of very good reservoir quality.

The Zumba prospect was drilled on the Mid-Norwegian shelf surrounded by multiple discoveries and producing fields. The geologic observations from wells in the area, which were all drilled on Jurassic highs, showed that significant erosion of potential reservoir sands had taken place on these highs.

Contrary to other wells in the area, 6507/11-11 was drilled in a graben setting (named by the PL591 team; the Zumba Graben). Making the Zumba prospect into a drillable prospect was mainly done by quantitative seismic interpretation using inverse rock physics modelling, with a geologic model supported by well data. Unfortunately, the well was dry, but if the concept had been commercially successful, multiple follow up prospects were identified using the same geological and geophysical workflow and could have yielded significant commercial volumes of hydrocarbons. If successful, it would have been a “play opening well”.

Link to press release

Nomination of candidates

4. December – 12. February

  • The geoscience community is invited to nominate candidates
  • The program committee for NCS Exploration 2018 selects maximum 10 candidates for online poll

Public poll

20. February – 2. April

  • The geoscience community votes for their favourite candidates
  • Based on the online poll, three candidates are selected as finalists, and are invited to give a presentation at the conference

Announcement of three finalists

7. May

The three finalists will be presented in the magazine GEO and on geo365.no

Presentation & prize ceremony

23. May

The three finalists are invited to present at the NCS Exploration – Recent Discoveries 2017. The winner is selected by the jury after the presentations.

The Exploration Innovation Prize 2018 is awarded at the evening dinner by Fredrik Amundsen, Senior Vice President Europe and Asia Pacific, TGS Nopec.

Jury

Einar SverdrupExploration Advisor at MOL Norge
Jon Halvard PedersenPetroleum System Analyst at Lundin Norway
Nils TelnæsVP Access New Basins, Exploration North at Equinox
Bent KjølhamarDirector Project Development Europe & Russia at TGS
Torodd NordlieLead Geologist in Aker BP
Anette Broch Mathiesen TvedtSenior Explorationist at Petrolia NOCO
Idar HorstadConsultant
Vigdis Wiik JacobsenSenior Consultant at Enfram

Sponsored by

BONÉ – 7318/12-2

ENI / PL716 Barents Sea, 2017

The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Middle and Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks (Stø and Nordmela formations). The secondary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Upper Triassic reservoir rocks (Fruholmen and Snadd formations), which was contingent on the success of the first target.

The well encountered about 60 metres of dense sandstone rocks in the Stø og Nordmela formations but did not find hydrocarbons.

The structural framework was similar to that of Johan Castberg, about 80km to the south east: well defined fault blocks on the margin of the Bjørnøya Basin. The uncertainties were related to reservoir development, reservoir quality and hydrocarbons in the trap.

The prospect was by many considered “high risk – high reward” and a potential “play opening well”.

Link to press release

BRASSE – 31/7-1

FAROE / PL740 North Sea 2016

The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Fensfjord formation). The secondary exploration target was also in Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Brent group) and the third exploration target was in the Lower Jurassic (the Cook formation and the Statfjord group).

31/7-1 encountered a gas column of about 18 metres and an oil column of about 21 metres in sandstone in the Middle Jurassic Fensfjord formation. Reservoir quality is good.

Well 31/7-1 A, which delineated the discovery, encountered a gas column of 6 metres and an oil column of 25 metres at levels equivalent to those of the discovery well.

The prospect had been known for a long time but had not been tested because it was thought to be too small.

Link to press release

CARA – 36/7-4

NEPTUNE ENERGY / PL636 North Sea 2016

The objective of the well was to prove petroleum in a stratigraphic trap in Early Cretaceous reservoir rocks (Agat formation).

The same prospect was tested by Norsk Hydro in 2002 with well 36/7-3 but the well was reported dry. Later work by Engie and partners led them to believe that 36/7-3 has a few meters of oil pay in the very top of the Agat formation and therefore just missed a larger column up-flank of the location (i.e. a prime example of “missed pay”). Hence, 36/7-4 Cara was drilled successfully up-flank and proved oil and gas very in such quantities that the discovery is likely to be commercial.

It is most likely a “play opening well” as it has proven that Cretaceous sandstones can make up commercial targets.

Link to press release

FILICUDI – 7219/12-1

LUNDIN NORWAY / PL533 Barents Sea 2017

The primary and secondary exploration targets for wildcat well 7219/12-1 were to prove petroleum in two Early Jurassic and Late/Middle Triassic reservoir levels (Tubåen and Fruholmen formations). The primary exploration target for appraisal well 7219/12-1 A was to collect geological data in Early Jurassic/Late Triassic sandstone rocks (Nordmela and Tubåen formations).

Well 7219/12-1 proved a total oil column of about 60 metres and an overlying total gas column of about 60 metres, of which 55 metres and 45 metres, respectively, were in sandstone with good reservoir properties in the Tubåen formation. Well 7219/12-1 A confirmed a mostly equivalent gas and oil column in the Nordmela and Tubåen formations with good reservoir properties.

Lundin and partners have taken the responsibility to test the Jurassic potential on the margin of the Polheim Sub-Platform. These wells were drilled in prolongation of several discoveries made by Statoil to the northeast, of which three are being developed as the Johan Castberg field.

Link to press release

KAYAK – 7219/9-2

EQUINOR / PL532 Barents Sea 2017

The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Early Cretaceous reservoir rocks (top part of the Kolje formation). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in somewhat older Early Cretaceous reservoir rocks (lower part of the Kolje formation).

Well 7219/9-2 encountered oil in two sandstone intervals with thicknesses of 27 and 18 metres, with moderate to poor reservoir quality in the upper part of the Kolje formation. The oil-water contact was not encountered. Reservoir rocks were not encountered in the lower part of the Kolje formation.

This prospect is assumed to be a stratigraphic trap that is associated with a strong CSEM-anomaly, that is coincident with a bright seismic event. This is the first discovery in Lower Cretaceous sandstones in the Barents Sea and should be considered a play opening well in syn-rift Aptian strata.

Link to press release

KOIGEN CENTRAL – 7317/9-1

EQUINOR / PL718 Barents Sea 2017

The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Middle Jurassic to Late Triassic reservoir rocks (the Realgrunn sub-group). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in Late to Middle Triassic reservoir rocks (Tubåen and Snadd formation), depending on the well result in the primary target.

Well 7317/9-1 encountered multiple sandstone layers in both exploration targets, totalling about 60 metres in the Realgrunn sub-group and about 50 metres that are preliminarily correlated to the Snadd formation. All sandstone layers have poor to no reservoir quality. The well is dry.

Along with 7318/12-2 Boné, this is a true wildcat based on very limited well control, but with a valid geological concept, being the ‘conjugate margin’ in the Bjørnøya Basin to the petroleum system around the Skrugard discoveries, on the West side of the Loppa High. This well could potentially have opened up the northwesternmost petroleum province on the NCS: the Stappen High. Unfortunately, the well was dry, and contained poor reservoir quality rocks.

The prospect was by many considered “high risk – high reward” and a potential “play opening well”.

Link to press release

KORPFJELL – 7435/12-1

EQUINOR / PL859  Barents Sea 2017

The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Middle Jurassic to Late Triassic reservoir rocks (Stø, Tubåen and Fruholmen formations). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in Late to Middle Triassic reservoir rocks (Snadd and Kobbe formations).

Well 7435/12-1 encountered a 34-metre gas column in the Stø formation, of which 28 metres were in sandstone with good to very good reservoir quality. The gas/water contact was proven 580 metres below the sea surface. In the secondary exploration target in the Snadd formation, aquiferous sandstone layers with moderate reservoir quality were encountered. Sandstones with poor reservoir quality were encountered in the Kobbe formation, of which some sandstone layers contained gas.

Link to press release

SALANDER – 6507/3-11S

EoN / PL650  Norwegian Sea 2015

The primary and secondary exploration targets for the well were to prove petroleum in Middle and Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Fangst and Båt groups).

In the primary exploration target, the well encountered approx. 30 metres of reservoir rocks in the Garn formation and 60 metres of reservoir rocks in the Ile formation (the Fangst group), both with very good reservoir quality. In the secondary exploration target, about 95 and 70 metres of reservoir rocks were encountered in the Tilje and Åre formation in the Båt group, respectively, both with good to very good reservoir properties.

Salander was targeting a structurally complex area on the western part of the Nordland Ridge. Detailed mapping of potential reservoir units was extremely difficult. However, all the necessary prerequisites for a petroleum system were likely in place (charge, reservoir, traps, retention). The well was dry but proved good quality reservoir sandstones, and the geological model was to a large degree proven. The well has opened up for other Jurassic targets along the western margin of the Nordland Ridge. If successfull, it would definitely have been a “play opening well”.

Link to press release

ZUMBA – 6507/11-11

TULLOW / PL591 Norwegian Sea 2015

The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Upper Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Rogn formation). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in the Middle Jurassic Garn formation, which is part of the Fangst group.

The well did not encounter reservoir rocks in the Rogn formation. The well encountered about 35 metres of reservoir rocks in the Garn formation, of which about 25 metres were of very good reservoir quality.

The Zumba prospect was drilled on the Mid-Norwegian shelf surrounded by multiple discoveries and producing fields. The geologic observations from wells in the area, which were all drilled on Jurassic highs, showed that significant erosion of potential reservoir sands had taken place on these highs.

Contrary to other wells in the area, 6507/11-11 was drilled in a graben setting (named by the PL591 team; the Zumba Graben). Making the Zumba prospect into a drillable prospect was mainly done by quantitative seismic interpretation using inverse rock physics modelling, with a geologic model supported by well data. Unfortunately, the well was dry, but if the concept had been commercially successful, multiple follow up prospects were identified using the same geological and geophysical workflow and could have yielded significant commercial volumes of hydrocarbons. If successful, it would have been a “play opening well”.

Link to press release

ØRNEN -7130/4-1

LUNDIN NORWAY / PL708 Barents Sea 2015

The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in carbonate and spiculite reservoir rocks (the Røye Formation) in the Upper Permian. The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in underlying carbonates and sandstones (the Ørn Formation and the Soldogg Formation) in the Permian and Carboniferous ages.

In the primary exploration target, well 7130/4-1 encountered an approx. 40 metres thick aquiferous spiculite reservoir in the Røye formation, with poor reservoir quality.

In the secondary exploration target, the well proved traces of petroleum in the Ørn formation. The formation is about 180 metres thick but is mainly tight. In the Soldogg formation, the well encountered a 5 metre thick gas column in a sandstone reservoir with moderate reservoir quality. In total, the well encountered about 85 metres of reservoir in the Soldogg formation. The gas/water contact was encountered. The assessment of the size of the discovery is unclear at this time, but indications are that it is too small to be commercial.

While the Permian spiculite reservoir was dry, qualified geologists say the play still has a potential. In addition, the well results have implications for the continued exploration of Carboniferous sandstones.

Link to press release