December 12, 2011 / 9:30 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-ConocoPhillips makes N.Sea gas find, tests needed

OSLO, Dec 12 (Reuters) - ConocoPhillips has made a gas find in the southern North Sea near BP’s Ula oil and gas field, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Monday, but more tests are needed to see if the shallow-water discovery is worth developing.

“A 40-metre gross gas column was encountered in Jurassic Age (Ula formation) reservoir rocks, and the reservoir quality in Triassic rocks was poorer than expected,” the directorate said.

ConocoPhillips spokesman Stig Kvendseth said it was too soon to estimate the amount of natural gas encountered.

“We need further evaluation of the wells before we can calculate the size of the discovery,” he said.

ConocoPhillips is the operator of the production licence, number 301C, with a 22-percent ownership interest. Its partners are OMV with 30 percent, DONG with 28 percent and Talisman with 20 percent.

After finding the gas column in Jurassic rocks ConocoPhillips drilled a sidetrack well that found additional gas, but with “poorer reservoir quality than expected,” the directorate said.

Although the water depth was only 72 metres, both wells were drilled under technically challenging high-temperature, high-pressure subsea conditions.

“It’s hard to say at this point, but I don’t think it’s very big,” said oil analyst Trond Omdal of Arctic Securities.

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