Vår Energi has made an oil discovery following the drilling of the Ringhorne North exploration well (well 25/8-23 S) in the Balder area, situated in the Central North Sea off the coast of Norway.

The discovery is in production license 956 (PL 956) in which Vår Energi is the operator with a 50% stake. Its recoverable resources are projected to be in the range of 2-3.7 million standard cubic metres of recoverable oil equivalent, which translates to 13-23 million barrels of oil.

Vår Energi views the discovery as a promising commercial opportunity for integration into the adjacent infrastructure within the Balder area.

Located 8km north of the Vår Energi-operated Ringhorne field, the Ringhorne North well was drilled by the Deepsea Yantai semi-submersible rig, approximately 200km northwest of Stavanger.

The rig also drilled two additional side-track/appraisal wells 25/8-23 A and 25/8-23 B along with the exploratory well.

Well 25/8-23 S targeted petroleum in the Ty Formation and Skagerrak Formation, encountering a 5m oil column in the Ty Formation with good reservoir quality.

The Nansen Formation, primarily targeted in sidetrack wells 25/8-23 A and 25/8-23 B, was encountered with 15m of thickness, showing good reservoir quality with traces of oil.

However, the Skagerrak Formation, encountered with a total thickness of 137m, had moderate to poor reservoir quality and was aquiferous.

According to the company, the new oil discovery reinforces the strategy for ongoing development of the Balder area as a sustainable production hub in the North Sea over the long term.

Besides uncovering fresh resources and confirming the northern expansion of the Ringhorne field, the Ringhorne North discovery reduces the risk associated with additional drilling prospects in the region, said Vår Energi.

Moreover, it creates opportunities for development synergies with other nearby discoveries operated by Vår Energi, such as King-Prince and Evra-Iving.

Vår Energi COO Torger Rød said: “The discovery proves that there are still opportunities in the mature areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and I’m glad to see that our near-field exploration strategy is paying off.

“We believe there is more value to be unlocked in the Balder area, and we are intensifying exploration activities to maximise value creation from the existing infrastructure.”

Vår Energi’s partners in PL 956 are Aker BP (20%), Harbour Energy Norge (15%), and Sval Energi (15%).