Det Norske Says Sverdrup Estimates to be Raised After Appraisal

Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA said volume estimates for the Johan Sverdrup find, which may be Norway’s biggest in almost 40 years, would rise after successful appraisal wells.

Det Norske and Statoil ASA said Jan. 3 the latest appraisal well had confirmed “good reservoir properties” at the North Sea field. Companies operating the two licenses that contain Sverdrup have estimated reserves to be between 1.7 billion and 3.3 billion barrels of oil.

“We have indicated that the lowest estimate we had was based on there being a relatively bad sand quality at the locations where there has since been proven a good sand quality,” Det Norske’s Chief Executive Officer Erik Haugane said in an interview in Sandefjord, Norway. “That implies” the lower end of the estimate range is bound to be raised when new figures are published in the fourth quarter, he said.

The Sverdrup find, which may be the biggest since Statfjord was discovered in 1974, has helped rekindle interest in Norway’s energy industry after the nation’s oil output fell by half in a decade as deposits aged. Det Norske shares have risen almost 250 percent since the discovery of the western part of the field was announced in August 2011.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate last week raised its lower estimate of Sverdrup’s volumes to 1.3 billion barrels of oil from 880 million barrels. The NPD’s high-end estimate is 2.5 billion barrels of oil.

‘Very Positive’

Lundin Petroleum AB, which operates the PL 501 license containing the eastern part of the field, may publish new estimates for its part of the field at its capital markets day next month, its head of operations in Norway, Torstein Sanness, said.

“What the NPD said and the optimism it showed was very positive,” he said in an interview. “We’re positive like everyone else.”

Of 51 licenses offered to 40 companies in mature areas offshore Norway this year, 35 are in the North Sea, the Norwegian Petroleum Ministry announced today.

Det Norske, which received eight licenses, all in the North Sea, is satisfied with the permits it received, Haugane said. Lundin was offered seven licenses.

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