It is a pleasure to introduce the finalists for the exclusive Exploration Revived Award which will be announced during the conference dinner, Tuesday 12th March.
The intention behind the Exploration Revived award is to stimulate exploration on the Norwegian shelf. Future exploration will for sure look different from the past, -new ideas can unlock potential – missed pays. The willingness to push new technology and methods to derisk prospect and reduce risk in the appraisal phase, risk drilling dry wells, and revisit old “truths” are needed to succeed.
Out of the 9 nominees, the award committee has selected 4 finalists, that will be presented in random order:
- Lundin – for horizontal appraisal wells drilled to confirm productivity in complex, less known reservoirs. Lundin has made a consistent effort to realise potentially difficult discoveries by means of extensive data acquisition programmes. The long-term production test of Alta karstified carbonates and the test of Rolfsnes weathered and fractured basement reservoir on Utsira, are both great examples where effort have been made to acquire critical data to reduce risk in the appraisal phase such that these barrels can hopefully be moved along the value chain.
- Aker BP -for the Frosk oil discovery. Frosk is an excellent example of success from integrated G&G work in a mature area. Aker BP’s geoscientists have persistently matured this under-explored play concept on the NCS by means of producing field analogues as well as improved imaging technology and demonstrated a significant upside potential. Frosk, a near Alvheim discovery targeting Paleocene sands injected into Eocene strata has implications for a much larger area on the NCS including the UKCS. Immediately after the discovery was made, the operator announced an aggressive exploration and appraisal campaign to rapidly unlock the area potential. The Frosk discovery has contributed to an increased interest for the injectite play. Earlier this year, the first follow-up success, the Froskelår discovery, was announced.
- Equinor – for the Cape Vulture discovery. The encouraging 2017 discovery targeted an under-explored play concept of Lange sandstone systems fed from and trapped against the Nordland Ridge. Equinor has persistently pursued near field targets in this area over many years and has, with this discovery, contributed to a geological breakthrough of these Cretaceous systems. Rapid and efficient delineation includes an appraisal well and two side-tracks, which was important in unfolding the potential in this stacked stratigraphic discovery. The appraisal wells verified the concept as well as the commercial potential, and the discovery is expected to provide a very positive volume contribution to the Norne Field. The discovery has contributed to an increased interest for this play in the Norwegian Sea.
- OMV – for the Cretaceous Hades and Jurassic Iris discoveries. The two targets were tested by the same exploration well, and both targets identified potentially significant discoveries with upside potential. The volume uncertainty is still large, and the operator has now announced that further appraisal is planned for this year. These discoveries may provide valuable resources in a mature area with available infrastructure. OMV has over the last years been an active explorer and is partner in several discoveries. They have also actively contributed to reducing risk in the appraisal and development phase, exemplified at Wisting, where a record breaking horizontal appraisal well has contributed to maturing a development concept.