Under contract to Statoil, the Transocean Spitsbergen discovered a 15 meter column of gas while drilling in the Pingvin Prospect NNW of the Johan Castberg field, and 300 km northwest of Hammerfest.
Even with an estimated 5 to 20 billion standard cubic meters (Sm3) of recoverable gas (30-120 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent), this well was deemed non-commercial by Statoil. Dan Tuppen, Statoil’s VP of Exploration for the Barents Sea and Norwegian Sea notes,
“For a discovery in this area to be commercially viable it needs to be an oil accumulation of a significant size. A gas discovery does not have commercial value at present.
“On the positive side, it is encouraging that the first well drilled in this unexplored area has proven hydrocarbons in sandstones. This indicates that we have both a reservoir and a working hydrocarbon system in the area, and creates a good basis for further subsurface work in the licence,”
The Spitsbegen will now move to the southeast to drill another wildcat will in production license 714.