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Lloyds List: Shell ready to reap rewards of gas find

Lloyds List: Shell ready to reap rewards of gas find

Martyn Wingrove

May 24, 2005


Royal Dutch/Shell has found a significant gas-condensate field in the Norwegian Sea which holds the potential for a raft of new awards for offshore contractors.


The Anglo-Dutch oil major found a large reservoir of natural gas and some condensate in the Onyx SW wildcat exploration well in block 6406’9, 40km west of its Draugen production platform.


‘We are dealing with a significant find,’ said Rien Herber, exploration director for Shell Exploration ‘ Production Europe.


‘We drilled Onyx SW as one of our global ‘Big Cat’ prospects and well data indicates the presence of a substantial gas column.’


The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate estimated reserves in Onyx SW at 60bn cu m of gas, or 377m barrels of oil equivalent, which with Shell’s 30% interest would put this in the ‘Big Cat’ class of over 100m boe.


The well was drilled, since January, in 308 m of water by semi-submersible rig Transocean Leader and was tested at 2.8m cu m of gas per day.


‘We intend to follow up this discovery with an accelerated programme of appraisal and exploration in 2006,’ said Mr Herber.


‘Our strategy is to add more integrated gas to our portfolio and the Norwegian Sea is an important area of focus for our exploration efforts in Europe.’


If next year’s appraisal programme goes well, Shell could have a large potential gas field development on its hands that may require the services of a floating production system and subsea facilities.


Other fields close by, including Njord and Kristin, are exploited by production semi-submersibles and subsea wells, plus there are export pipelines in the region to take gas to European markets.


Shell’s success was welcomed by Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy Thorhild Widvey, who said: ‘The new discovery in the Norwegian Sea is very encouraging. It will lead to renewed interest in the area.’


Shell has planned to drill 15-20 Big Cat wells globally in 2005 and 2006. In the first quarter it had success in Nigeria, Malaysia, Oman, the Netherlands, UK and US. and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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