Together with partners ENI (11 per cent) and Petoro (24 per cent), Equinor (64 per cent) has completed the appraisal well on the Cape Vulture discovery.
In an announcement this morning, Equinor stated that the well confirms a volume potential of 50-70 million recoverable barrels of oil. The discovery more than doubles the remaining oil reserves to be produced through the Norne field.
Originally meant to be shut down in 2014, the productive life of Norne has already been extended to 2036, which is forecast to generate substantial spin-offs. The further maturing of the field development is anticipated to hold upside potential for additional recoverable reserves from Cape Vulture and the discovery will boost production levels for years to come.
Nick Ashton, Equinor’s Senior Vice President of Exploration (Norway & UK) said that the company is very pleased to have proven and appraised a new substantial oil discovery off the coast of Nordland in the Norwegian Sea.
“The discovery demonstrates the importance of our new exploration strategy. We intend to take new approaches and try out new and untested ideas to unlock the remaining commercial resources on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). This is in line with Equinor’s recently updated roadmap for the NCS, which aims to secure activity for many decades to come,” he said.
Mr Ashton further explained that the Cape Vulture discovery also opens additional opportunities in the area.
“As an immediate consequence, we will already next year drill a well on a similar prospect on the Nordland Ridge. We are also maturing other opportunities for the coming years that may help substantially increase the reserves around the Norne field,” he said.
Norne was the first field development off Nordland, marking the start of the Northern Norway oil era, with its field coming on stream in 1997. The remaining recoverable oil reserves in the fields producing through the Norne FPSO (in addition to the Norne field) are currently estimated at approximately 40 million barrels. There are also recoverable gas reserves corresponding to about 80 million barrels of oil equivalent still in place in these five fields.
Siri Espedal Kindem, Equinor’s senior vice president, Operations North said exploration workers have been scrutinising the area for over 40 years, and this is proof that they are still cracking codes.
“Even in an early phase of development planning, this discovery will more than double the oil resources produced through the Norne infrastructure towards 2036, which we are very pleased to see. This is a great day for the Norwegian Sea and the industry in Northern Norway,” Kindem commented.
More information on Norne can be found here.