Aker BP has made a minor gas discovery south of the 7435/12-1 (Korpfjell) gas discovery in the Barents Sea, following the drilling of the wildcat well 7234/6-1.

Located in the Aker BP-operated production licence 858, the well is situated about 290km north-east of Vardø, Norway.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said that the drilling at the well was aimed to prove petroleum in carbonate reservoir rocks from the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian (the Ørn Formation).

Following the drilling using the Deepsea Nordkapp rig, the well encountered a gas column totalling 57m in the Ørn Formation.

Of the total gas column, 26m is carbonate rocks (dolomite) with quality of the reservoir ranging from ‘poor to moderate’.

The partners also discovered 36m thick Realgrunnen Subgroup from the Jurassic with a sandstone reservoir at the well, with no traces of petroleum.

Additionally, the well encountered gas traces in several thin sandstone layers of variable reservoir quality in the Snadd, Kobbe and Havert Formation from the Triassic.

Based on preliminary estimates, the size of discovery ranges between 1.6 and 2.1 million standard cubic metres (Sm³) of recoverable oil equivalent.

Although the discovery is not considered to be financially profitable, the licence partners are planning to assess the discovery together with the remaining prospects in the licence.

The well 7234/6-1, which was drilled to a vertical depth of 4,003m, was terminated in the Ørn Formation. It has been permanently plugged and abandoned.

Aker BP has a 40% stake in the production licence 858. Its other partners include Equinor Energy (20%), Petoro (20%), Lukoil Overseas North Shelf (20%).

The Deepsea Nordkapp drilling rig is now planned to drill pilot holes in Aker BP-operated production licence 146 in the North Sea.