Vaar Energi, a majority owned subsidiary of Eni, has made a significant oil and gas discovery near the Balder field in the Norwegian North Sea.

The discovery follows the drilling of the wildcat wells Prince 25/8-20 S and King 25/8-20 B, and appraisal well 25/8-20 C, all located in production licence 027.

The wells are located about 6km north of the Balder field in the central North Sea, 165km west of Haugesund.

According to preliminary estimates, the size of the discovery ranges between 60-135 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents.

Drilled to a vertical depth of 2,374m below sea level using Scarabeo 8 drilling facility, the Prince wildcat well-branch encountered about 35m oil column in the Triassic Skagerrak formation within good to moderate reservoir sandstones.

The wildcat well-branch King, which was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,353m, encountered about 30m of gas column.

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By GlobalData

Vaar Energi also identified a light oil column of about 55m at the King well with some thick Paleogene injectite sandstone featuring good reservoir properties.

Moreover, an additional King appraisal sidetrack confirmed a 40m gas column and about 55m oil column, of which, about 35m is massive oil-bearing injectite sandstone with excellent reservoir quality.

Vår Energi CEO Torger Rød said: “The discoveries prove that there are still opportunities in the mature areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.”

The firm is assessing a tie-in of the discoveries, which are considered as commercial, to the existing infrastructure in the Balder area.

Vår Energi field development and projects vice-president Bjørn Thore Ribesen said: “The discoveries fit in well with our area plans and continuous development of the Balder Area as an important production hub for Vår Energi.

“We are in the process of revitalising the area and these discoveries will increase future value creation.”

Vår Energi, a joint venture of Eni (69.85%) and Norway private equity investor HitecVision (30.15%), operates the licence with a 90% stake. It is partnered with Mime Petroleum holding 10% interest.