Norwegian independent Vaar Energy has made a gas discovery in the Barents Sea with the Lupa well, drilled near the Goliat field.

A preliminary estimate suggested that the new find was on the scale of 57 million to 132 million barrels of oil equivalent recoverable, or between 9 billion and 21 billion cubic metres in recoverable gas resources.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said the Lupa well was drilled about 27 kilometres northeast of Goliat, in the southern part of the Barents Sea, and 85 kilometres from Hammerfest.

The licensees will consider tying back the discovery to existing infrastructure at Goliat field, the NPD said.

Rune Oldervoll, executive vice president for exploration and production at Vaar Energy said: “The Lupa discovery further strengthens our foothold in the north. The discovery could serve as another step towards realising additional gas infrastructure in the Barents Sea in the future.”

“We have a long-term growth strategy for the Barents Sea and will continue to chase new opportunities for value creation.”

The objective of the well was to prove petroleum in lower Triassic reservoir rocks in the Havert Formation, as well as to investigate the reservoir quality in the Orret Formation in the Upper Permian.

“Well 7122/9-1 encountered a 55-metre gas column in the Havert Formation, in sandstone layers totalling 46 metres with moderate to good reservoir quality. The gas/water contact was not encountered,” the NPD said, adding that “in the Orret Formation, the well encountered an aquiferous sandstone reservoir with poor to moderate reservoir quality”.

Lupa was the first well on production licence 229 E since it was awarded earlier this year

Another offshore exploration well on the Goliat play, which Vaar has named Countach, will be drilled on Block PL 229, with potential for 41 million boe, according to Vaar.

Vaar is partnered by Aker BP subsidiary ABP in the Luna project and by Equinor at Countach. Both wells are being drilled using the rig Transocean Enabler.

Under the harsh Arctic conditions, there are just two producing fields in the Barents Sea — Goliat and Snohvit — while there are two large field developments in progress or under assessment for such— Johan Castberg and Wisting.

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