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Equinor reports Echino South oil and gas discovery near Fram field

Echino South oil and gas discovery : Equinor and its partners, through the drilling of the 35/11-23 exploration well at the Echino South prospect have pulled off an oil and gas discovery near the producing Fram field operated by the company in the northern part of the North Sea, offshore Norway.

The Norwegian oil and gas giant said that the new North Sea oil and gas discovery has an estimated recoverable resources of 6-16 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalent, which corresponds to 38-100 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The Echino South prospect is contained in production licence 090 where Equinor Energy (45%) is partnered by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Norway (25%), Idemitsu Petroleum Norge (15%), and Neptune Energy Norge AS (15%).

Commenting on the Echino South oil and gas discovery, Nick Ashton – senior vice president for exploration in Norway and the UK at Equinor, said: “We are making one of this year’s biggest discoveries in the most mature area of the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), not far from the Troll field. This demonstrates the opportunities that still exist for value creation and revenue from this industry.”

Location of the Echino South oil and gas discovery

Echino South oil and gas discovery

Map showing the Echino South oil and gas discovery. Courtesy of Equinor ASA.

Equinor said that the Echino South discovery will add significantly to the resources in the northern part of the North Sea, and is likely to be brought into production through a tied back to existing Troll-Fram infrastructure. The Norwegian oil and gas major said that additional knowledge of the area and new data investments have boosted its confidence in the exploration scope in the northern North Sea area.

Nick Ashton added: “After more than 50 years of geological surveys on the NCS, we are still learning something new and finding hydrocarbons where we previously thought there were none. By utilizing existing infrastructure, these resources may be recovered at good profitability and with low CO2 intensity.”

Echino South oil and gas discovery in North Sea

The exploration well 35/11-23 was drilled 3.2km south-west of the Fram field targeting the Echino South prospect with a primary exploration target to prove petroleum in the upper Jurassic reservoir of the Oxfordian age (Sognefjord formation).

The secondary exploration target in the exploration well was to confirm petroleum rocks of the middle Jurassic period (Brent group). Equinor said that hydrocarbons were proven in the two exploration targets.

The Norwegian oil and gas giant revealed that a sidetrack well 35/11-23 A is being drilled to delineate the Echino South oil and gas discovery in the Sognefjord formation.

The company said that the well was not formation tested, but, huge amounts of data have been acquired. The exploration Well 35/11-23, which was drilled to a vertical depth of 2947m below sea level in a water depth of 350m, will be plugged permanently and abandoned after the drilling of the sidetrack well 35/11-23 A.

Well 35/11-23 was drilled using the Deepsea Atlantic drilling rig, which will now drill production wells on the Askeladd North field in production licence 064 after the completion of drilling the sidetrack well at the Echino South oil and gas discovery.

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