Vaar Energi has drilled a successful appraisal to boost recoverable resources at its Goliat oilfield in the Barents Sea off Norway.

The delineation probe at the Goliat West prospect hit hydrocarbon-bearing sandstones in a Lower and Upper Jurassic reservoir after being drilled to a vertical depth of 1240 metres into the Tubaaen and Fruholmen formations by semi-submersible West Hercules in Vaar-operated production licence 229 that hosts the main field.

It uncovered an oil and gas column of 18 metres thickness in the targeted Tubaaen formation that was said to have “excellent” reservoir properties, while a 35-metre oil column was found in a lower reservoir in the Fruholmen structure.

Vaar has estimated recoverable resources found by the well at between 4.4 million and 13.8 million barrels of oil equivalent, with total volumes pegged at 13 million to 44 million boe.

This will further increase Goliat’s current resource tally of around 198 million boe that has already been boosted from the original estimate of 176 million boe.

Vaar chief executive Kristin Kragseth said “the Goliat West discovery will add to the profitability of Goliat” that is located in the same licence 90 kilometres north-west of Hammerfest.

Its vice president for exploration Denis Palermo said the appraisal, which was drilled into an untested fault compartment to the west of Goliat to prove additional resources, demonstrated the success of the company’s near-field exploration strategy.

He added it will “enable a fast-track development of incremental reserves through a subsea tieback to the Goliat floating production, storage and offloading vessel, increasing the oil recovery in the area and extending the production horizon for the Goliat field”.

The well, designated 7122/7-7S, has now been permanently plugged and abandoned after being sunk in a water depth of 379 metres.

Vaar, formed out of recent merger between Point Resources and Eni Norge, holds a 65% operating stake in the licence, with sole partner Equinor on 35%.

The Seadrill-owned rig will now be mobilised to drill the 7132/2-1 wildcat for Equinor at the Gjokaasen prospect in the latter’s operated production licence 857 in the Barents Sea.