Closely watched wildcat off Faroe Islands comes up dry for explorer as new prospect in sights
Statoil has failed to find hydrocarbons with its closely watched Brugdan-2 wildcat off the Faroe Islands and is pulling stumps at the well as it targets a new prospect in the frontier play.
The Norwegian explorer re-entered the well in its operated licence 006 last month using Seadrill-owned semi-submersible West Hercules after the original probe, drilled by semisub COSL Pioneer, was halted by bad weather in late 2012.
It was the second well to be drilled in the licence and there were hopes of making a gas discovery after the initial probe, Brugdan-1, struck gas shows in 2006.
The latest well was sunk in a water depth of 450 metres about 130 kilometres south-west of the Faroes but was found to be dry after being drilled to a total depth of 4542 metres, Statoil said in a statement.
Licence partner Atlantic Petroleum revealed the probe had been “operationally challenging” and failed to encounter the targeted Vaila sandstone formation.
Statoil, which holds a 35% operating stake in the 579 square-kilometre licence, is now wrapping up drilling at the prospect with the well to be plugged and abandoned. The remaining licence partners are ExxonMobil (49%), OMV (15%) and Atlantic (1%).
The West Hercules will then be mobilised to drill a further wildcat at the Sulan-Stelkur prospect, located in licence 008 farther east that Statoil operates with a 40% stake with partners Dong Energy and OMV on 30% each.
Despite the drilling disappointment, Statoil is apparently not giving up on the virgin play, stating that exploration in the area is aligned with its strategy of early entry at scale into largely unexplored areas. The company operates a total of four licences off the Faroes.