--> Abstract: Play Models in the Southwestern Barents Sea, by K. Sollid, E. Henriksen, G. B. Larssen, K. Rønning, A. E. Ryseth, and T. Heide; #90096 (2009)

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Play Models in the Southwestern Barents Sea

Ketil Sollid, Erik Henriksen, Geir B. Larssen, Kristin Rønning, Alf Eivind Ryseth, and Turid Heide
Exploration Northern Areas and Russia, StatoilHydro, Harstad, Norway.

43 different plays have been defined by StatoilHydro in the Southwestern part of the Barents Sea, grouped into 8 different basins. The plays include both Carbonate and Silisiclastic reservoirs, ranging from Carboniferous to Tertiary in age.

13 different prospective reservoir intervals have been evaluated in the different basins, and known existing source rock intervals are present from Permian to early Cretaceous. The huge number of plays and source intervals sets the Barents Sea apart from other areas on the Norwegian shelf. They create a wide range of interesting and challenging plays, most of them vastly underexplored, some never explored at all.

Since the Barents Sea was opened for exploration in 1980, StatoilHydro have been the main driver for exploration in the area. The exploration in the 1980’s was focused in and around the Hammerfest Basin, with a high successrate. Several gas discoveries were made and are currently in production, to the Snøhvit LNG plant in Hammerfest. In addition to the Hammerfest Basin, ”strategic blocks” was awarded to the industry to test other basins and plays. This led to the drilling of a few wells in other areas, such as the Loppa High, Bjørnøya Basin, Senja Ridge, Bjarmeland Platform, Nordkapp Basin and the Finnmark platform. StatoilHydro have operated the majority of the wells, and have participated in nearly all of them. The result of the exploration effort outside Hammerfest Basin was a disappointment. Residual hydrocarbons were found in a number of wells, but no really promising discoveries were made.

Since 2000, renewed exploration efforts have tested several new basins and play models. The most successful so far have been the Triassic discoveries on Goliat field, where the operator, ENI, together with StatoilHydro, recently submitted the PDO to the authorities. Other recent discoveries are: Pandora, Nucula, Obesum, Ververis, Arenaria and Caurus.

Currently a large effort is undertaken to evaluate the results of these wells, and based on the new information, exploration will continue on the newly proven plays, and on new, still under-explored plays. The increasing amounts of 3D data and new well results have provided a basis for updating our regional models, and increase the detail in play maps and risk maps.


AAPG Search and Discover Article #90096©2009 AAPG 3-P Arctic Conference and Exhibition, Moscow, Russia