Germany’s Wintershall Dea has scored a double in the Norwegian Sea, with an exploration well drilled on the PL 836S licence block offshore Norway hitting hydrocarbon pay in three formations.

Wintershall Dea said well 6406/3-10 A reconfirmed oil discoveries in the Garn and Tilje formations, originally identified in 2020, with their recoverable reserves now estimated to be between 40 million and 84 million barrels of oil equivalent.

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However, the well also proved an additional gas accumulation in the Are formation that is estimated to hold an additional 13 million to 56 million boe of recoverable reserves.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said that well s6406/3-10 A was drilled as a sidetrack to the existing well with the primary exploration target intended to delineate last year’s oil discovery.

The secondary exploration target was to prove the presence of commercial hydrocarbons in the deeper-lying Are formation, which is located at a depth of more than 4800 metres.

It added that well 6406/3-10 A was not formation tested although extensive data acquisition and sampling was carried out.

The two wells at PL 836S have been permanently plugged and abandoned, the NPD said.

Wintershall Dea holds a 40% operating stake in the PL 836S Bergknapp discovery licence, with Spirit Energy of the UK and Norway’s DNO Norge each holding 30%.

The Bergknapp discovery is located in a water depth of more than 300 metres, 200 kilometres north of Kristiansund and eight kilometres west of the Wintershall Dea-operated Maria oilfield, which is close to existing infrastructure.

The licence partners will now evaluate potential development options for these assets, Wintershall Dea said.

The Bergknapp appraisal well is the second successful exploration well for Wintershall Dea in Norway in 2021, following the nearby Dvalin North discovery on Block PL 211 in the Norwegian Sea in May.

According to the company, the combined resource estimate of Dvalin North is between 71 million and 157 million boe.

The semi-submersible drilling rig Deepsea Aberdeen, which Wintershall employed for the job, will now head to drill development well 35/11-R-11 AH on the Vega field on production licence 090 C in the North Sea, where Wintershall Dea Norge is the operator.