Aker BP has made a gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea near its producing Skarv field where it recently started a “blowdown” process which enables increased natu­ral gas exports to Europe.

In a brief statement the operator said it had completed drilling of the Storjo exploration well in production licence 261, and the well had hit gas in several geological formations.

The preliminary estimate of recoverable gas is between 25 million and 80 million barrels of oil equivalent, with further delineation of the discovery planned for 2023.

Aker BP is the operator of PL261 with a 70% interest. Wintershall Dea is the partner with 30%.

In late March this year, the partnership began a gas blowdown phase from two reservoir segments at the Skarv field following nine years of gas injection to produce the field’s oil reserves.

“This would contribute to increased utilisation of available gas processing and export capacity from the Skarv FPSO and Asgard transport system, and thereby increase the natural gas volumes available for export to Europe,” Aker BP said in its 2022 first-quarter report.

Production from the Skarv area in the first quarter of 2022 was 34,600 boe per day net to Aker BP.

The partnership is progressing several development projects at Skarv.

On the Idun Tunge project, drilling is scheduled to start in the second half of 2022, while a plan of development is to be submitted before the end of the year on the Skarv Satellites project, which covers the Orn, Shrek, Idun Nord and Alve Nord fields.

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