Our exploration and production operations in the country are regulated by a Production License (PL) that gives us authorisation to carry out seismic surveys, drilling and production until the contract expires, with the possibility of renewal. In December 2018, we completed the merger between companies Point Resources AS and Eni Norge AS, 100% owned by HitecVision and Eni, respectively. The resulting creation of Vår Energi AS will enable us to strengthen our operational structure in the country and expand and differentiate our mining portfolio. In September 2019, the company acquired ExxonMobil's upstream assets in over 20 production fields. Following this acquisition, Vår Energi AS will have reserves and resources of over 1.9bn boe, with a production of about 300 thousand boe/d in 2019 and over 350 thousand in 2023, thanks to investments of about $7bn that the company scheduled for allocation for 2020-2023 to develop projects such as Johan Castberg, Balder X and Grand.
In 2019, Vår Energi was awarded 13 exploration licences: two operator licenses in the North Sea and two in the Barents Sea, and five licenses as partner in the North Sea and four as partner in the Norwegian Sea. Exploration activities yielded positive results with the delineation well of the Cape Vulture oil and gas discovery in the PL 128/128D license (8% Eni-owned), located near the production plant in the Norne field (4.8% Eni-owned). We also made a new oil discovery in the PL 532 license (20.88% Eni-owned), near the Johan Castberg project. Finally, we drilled the Goliat West oil well in licence PL 229 (45.24% Eni-owned), increasing estimated reserves in the Goliat production field, as well as the oil and gas well in licence PL 869, in which Vår Energi holds a 20% interest. Development activities included the Trestakk project (5.5% Eni-owned), launching in 2019, the Johan Castberg development project, with production expected to start in 2022, the sanction and the final investment decision (FID) of the operated project of Balder X (Eni’s interest 62.64%) in the PL 001 license, in the Norwegian section of the North Sea. The project includes a new development plan and operating activities on the production fields and drilling activities of additional productive wells.
Eni through Vår Energi will participate in a total of new 17 licenses as a result of the Awards in Predefined Areas 2019 (APA) by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy of Norway (MPE). Vår Energi has been granted the following 7 operatorships (OP) and 10 partnerships in licenses distributed over the three main oil and gas provinces in the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).
Following the recent completion of the acquisition of ExxonMobil’s upstream assets in Norway, the results of the APA 2019 reinforces Vår Energi’s position as a major independent E&P company in Norway. The new exploration licenses are located both around operated hubs and in other areas, confirming Vår Energi’s strategy and commitment to the exploration of the NCS.
In January 2021 through Vår Energi we awarded 10 exploration licenses in a total of 10 new licenses as a result of the Awards in Predefined Areas 2020 (APA). Vår Energi has been granted the following 5 Operatorships (op) and 5 partnerships in licenses distributed over the three main oil and gas provinces in the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). In March 2021 we announced:
- a new oil discovery in production licence PL532 in the Barents Sea. Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery between 65 and 100 Mboe hydrocarbon in place. The new discovery will be linked to the Johan Castberg development hub.
- a new oil discovery in production licence 090/090I in the northern North Sea by drilling the exploration well 31/2-22 S in the Blasto Main prospect. Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery between 150 and 240 Mboe oil in place.
In 2020 development activities concerned:
- the Johan Castberg sanctioned project (Eni’s interest 20.96%) with start-up expected in 2023
- the Balder X sanctioned project (Eni operator with a 62.87% interest) in the PL 001 license, located in the North Sea. The Balder project scheme provides for drilling additional productive wells, to be linked to an upgraded FPSO unit that will be relocated in the area. Production start-up is expected in 2022.
The Breidablikk project was sanctioned with start-up expected in 2024. The development activities include the drilling of 23 productive wells that will be linked to existing facilities. Leveraging on high energy and operational efficiency technologies, the project development will minimize direct emissions.
In June 2021 we announced:
a new oil discovery in production licence 554 in the North Sea in the Garantiana West prospect, drilled with the semi-submersible drilling rig West Hercules. The well has been formation tested with robust results and a maximum production rate of 1,2 KSm3 oil and 3,8 KSm3 gas per day. Extensive data collection and sampling has been performed.
- a new oil and gas discovery in production license PL027 in the Southern North Sea, with the dual branch exploration wildcat Prince 25/8-20 S, King 25/8-20 B. After the recently announced Isflak discovery in the Barents Sea and the Blasto and Garatiana West discoveries in the Northern North Sea, King/Prince further validates Vår Energi’s successful Infrastructure - Led exploration strategy also in the Southern North Sea by proofing additional high value resources in the Balder Ringhorne Area that can potentially be exploited with a fast track solution.