Total’s Victoria Discovery Smaller than Thought

17 September 2009 (Last Updated September 17th, 2009 18:30)

Total has downgraded resource estimates at its Victoria discovery in the Norwegian sea, which was originally thought to be Norway’s largest undeveloped gas discovery, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said. According to preliminary estimates, Total's 6506/6-1 appraisal well cont

Total has downgraded resource estimates at its Victoria discovery in the Norwegian sea, which was originally thought to be Norway’s largest undeveloped gas discovery, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said.

According to preliminary estimates, Total's 6506/6-1 appraisal well contains 20-60 billion standard cubic metres (Sm³) of recoverable gas, which is less than the 89 billion Sm³ estimate given before drilling activity began.

NPD director for exploration Sissel Eriksen said that the result was disappointing.

“The most important thing now is to give the operator the time and opportunity to analyse samples and data to ascertain what this means,” Eriksen said.

The 6506/6-1 appraisal well has attracted a lot of attention as it will shape the development of that part of the Norwegian Sea, the NPD said. The development will probably take more time than earlier estimated.

"The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate believes that the area must be explored in further detail and that more wells must be drilled before a decision on development and investments in new infrastructure can be made," Eriksen said

The Victoria reservoir is a complicated structure of high pressure and high temperature. The gas consists of 10% carbon dioxide and 90% methane.

The well offers new information about this part of the Norwegian Sea with a lot of information amassed from samples taken, the NPD said.

The data obtained included 230m of core material and a successful formation test was also carried out. Total also plans to drill another appraisal well on the Victoria site in the next few years.

The well is the deepest drilled on the Norwegian shelf and touched a vertical depth of 5,664m below sea level. The site's water depth is 416m.