In September 2010 an exploration well on the Avaldsnes prospect in PL501 (WI 40%), located 25 km east of the Edvard Grieg field, resulted in a giant oil discovery. In 2011 a further large discovery was made on the same structure in the neighbouring PL265 (WI 10%) on the Aldous Major South prospect. Avaldsnes and Aldous Major South are essentially one connected giant oil field. In early 2012 the Avaldsnes/Aldous discovery was renamed Johan Sverdrup.
The Johan Sverdrup appraisal drilling programme in PL501 (2 wells + 2 sidetracks), where Lundin Petroleum is operator, coupled with Statoil's discovery well and subsequent appraisal well in PL265, confirmed that the thickness and quality of the Jurassic reservoir was better than previously assumed. As a result, Lundin Petroleum increased the contingent resource range for the Johan Sverdrup discovery in PL501 to between 800 million and 1.8 billion barrels of gross recoverable oil. Statoil has announced a contingent resource range of 900 million to 1.5 billion barrels of gross recoverable oil for the Johan Sverdrup discovery in PL265. The Johan Sverdrup discovery at this time is estimated to contain gross contingent resources of between 1.7 and 3.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil. This makes the discovery one of the five largest discoveries ever made on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the largest discovery since the mid 1980s and the largest exploration find in the world in 2010/2011. Furthermore the discovery is located in 115 metres of water, in a reservoir with excellent characterstics and oil quality, at a depth of less than 2,000 metres and close to existing infrastructure with spare capacity.
The priority is to fully appraise the discovery during 2012 to better define the resource range and to provide information for development planning.
This news is transformational for Lundin Petroleum and will most likely be one of the most valuable discoveries ever made in the North Sea.