Norwegian oil exploration and development company Aker BP has struck an oil column in the primary exploration target of 28 metres in sand layers in the wildcat well 25/2-21 (Liatårnet).

Aker BP, the operator of production licence 442 in the North Sea, said that the discovery had good reservoir quality. The 25/2-21 well was the ninth exploration well in production licence 442, awarded in APA 2006.

The well was drilled 40km north-east of the Alvheim field in the central North Sea and 200km north-west of Stavanger. The company claimed that the well encountered an oil column and did not encounter oil/water contact.

Aker BP said that the primary and secondary exploration targets were intended to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Early Miocene period, called the Skade formation. The secondary exploration target comprised a water-bearing sand layer of 12 metres, and this also had excellent reservoir quality.

Aker BP said that according to preliminary estimates, the size of the discovery was between 13m standard cubic metres (sm³) and 32sm³ of recoverable oil.

However, the company said that the flow potential and recovery rate were uncertain and would have to be clarified before the preparation of a possible development plan. It added that the well was not formation tested, but the company carried out extensive data acquisition and sampling.

The Norwegian company said that the well was drilled to a vertical depth of 1,170m below the sea surface and was terminated in rocks from the Oligocene age, called the Hordaland group. Water depth at the site was 110m and the well has been plugged and abandoned.

The Deepsea Stavanger drilling facility will now be used to drill wildcat well 6608/6-1 in production licence 762 in the Norwegian Sea. Aker BP is the operator of this licence.