Houston-headquartered ConocoPhillips Co., working with Polish partner PGNiG, has discovered what the company said could be the largest discovery made this year on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The Warka discovery (6507/4-1), located north of ConocoPhillips’ Victoria discovery, helps de-risk the Cretaceous play in the region.

Preliminary estimates for the discovery well, which was drilled 22 miles northwest of the Heidrun Field in the central part of the Norwegian Sea, are between 50 million and 190 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent, ConocoPhillips said Nov. 11.

“This discovery, potentially the largest on the Norwegian Continental Shelf this year, bolsters our position in the Norwegian Sea and the Heidrun area,” Matt Fox, executive vice president and COO for ConocoPhillips, said in a statement. “The Warka discovery and potential future opportunities represent very low cost of supply resource additions that can extend our multi-decade success on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.”

Drilled by the Leiv Eiriksson semisubmersible drilling rig to a vertical depth of 4,960 m below sea level, the well targeted oil in reservoir rocks from the Albian and Aptian Ages in Early Cretaceous reservoirs (Intra Lange Formation sandstones), according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD). The well hit a 27-m gas column in the Lange Formation.

Water depth in the area is about 400 m.

In the Albian, the primary exploration target, the well encountered a 27-m gas column in sandstone layers in the Lange Formation, the NPD said, adding “No reservoir rocks were encountered in the secondary target.”

The Norwegian regulator added that extensive data acquisition and sampling have taken place, though the well has not been formation tested.

The Warka discovery is located north of the Victoria discovery in the Norwegian Sea. (Source: Norwegian Petroleum Directorate)
The Warka discovery is located north of the Victoria discovery in the Norwegian Sea. (Source: Norwegian Petroleum Directorate)

ConocoPhillips said it plans are to carry out additional appraisal work to determine potential flow rates, the reservoir’s ultimate resource recovery and development plans.

Warka is the first exploration well in production license 1009, where ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS is operator with 65% working interest. PGNiG Upstream Norway AS holds the remaining interest.

Following Warka, exploration work will move north-northeast of the Heidrun Field, where ConocoPhillips said it will drill the Slagugle exploration well on production license 891. Holding an 80% working interest, ConocoPhillips also serves as operator. Its partner is Pandion Energy AS.