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Wildcat Well Comes Up Dry In Norwegian Sea

German energy group Wintershall Dea found no gas in the second wildcat exploration well that it has drilled in one license in Norway’s Norwegian Sea, after it found gas at the first well nearly two years ago.

Wintershall Dea, operator of license 894, drilled the second wildcat well some 105 kilometers (65 miles) southwest of the new gas field Aasta Hansteen, operated by Equinor.

Equinor started gas production from Aasta Hansteen at the end of 2018. Aasta Hansteen gas is transported through the Polarled pipeline to the Nyhamna terminal for further export to the UK, while condensate produced at the field is loaded into tankers and transported to the market. Aasta Hansteen is bringing gas from a new Norwegian gas province to the markets, operator Equinor says.

The sandstones Wintershall Dea encountered in the second exploration well contain traces of gas, but nothing more, so the well is classified as dry, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said in a statement on Wednesday.  

In the same license, Wintershall struck gas in the first exploration well drilled in early 2018.

Wintershall Dea is one of the largest operators on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) and considers Norway as a core region, unlike many other major oil corporations which have been divesting assets offshore Europe’s largest oil and gas producer. In one of the latest transactions, ExxonMobil signed a deal in September 2019 to sell its non-operated upstream assets in Norway to Vår Energi AS for US$4.5 billion.

The operators that stay offshore Norway are exploring for oil and gas in both mature areas and in frontier regions in the Barents Sea in the hopes of finding the next giant Johan Sverdrup which started pumping oil in early October 2019. With expected resources of 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Johan Sverdrup is one of the largest discoveries on the shelf ever made and one of the largest industrial projects in Norway for the next fifty years, according to Equinor.

According to NPD, producers are barely halfway through producing Norway’s vast oil and gas resources, with 47 percent of resources produced so far.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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