The appraisal of the Cape Vulture discovery is now most likely completed. The partnership in the Norne licence will progress the discovery towards a development decision. The discovery demonstrates that considerable resources may still be recovered through existing infrastructure on the NCS. New data and creative exploration ideas generate resources, new revenues for society, and important jobs in Northern Norway.
“Cape Vulture came as a gift in early 2017, and it confirmed that exciting subsurface secrets still remain to be unlocked in the Norne area,” says Siri Espedal Kindem
, Equinor’s senior vice president, Operations North.
“Our exploration people have been scrutinizing the area for more than 40 years, and they are still cracking codes.”
Norne was the first field development off Nordland, marking the start of the Northern Norway oil era. The field came on stream in 1997. The remaining recoverable oil reserves in the fields producing through the Norne FPSO (in addition to the Norne field, this is Alve, Urd, Skuld and Marulk) are currently estimated at approximately 40 million barrels. There are also recoverable gas reserves corresponding to about 80 million barrels of oil equivalent still in place in these five fields.
The Cape Vulture discovery is located 7 kilometres northwest of the production vessel on the Norne field.
“Even in an early phase of development planning, this discovery will more than double the oil resources produced through the Norne infrastructure towards 2036, which we are very pleased to see. This is a great day for the Norwegian Sea and the industry in Northern Norway,” Kindem adds.
“Exploration results like Cape Vulture are essential to Equinor. We will explore for this type of resources in the years ahead. Discoveries like this will be key to supporting our ambition to extend the lifespan of existing infrastructure,” Nick Ashton says.
The exploration drilling in the Cape Vulture well (6608/10-17S) started in early December 2016. The drilling of the appraisal well, including side-tracks (6608/10-18, 6608/10-18B and 6608/10-18C), started in mid-July 2017. The wells were drilled in production license 128, a result of production license 128D awarded in the APA round (award in predefined areas) in 2015. The Cape Vulture Appraisal well was drilled by the Songa Encourage rig.