In a mature basin, large-scale new plays are rare, but is the Netherlands offshore about to see a revitalisation this spring?
Drilling is expected to commence shortly on the hotly anticipated N05-01 well, which aims to test the Ruby prospect in the Hansa operated GEms Licence Area. According to AIS positional data the jack-up rig Prospector 1 arrived at the wellsite in the Eastern Netherlands Offshore on the 29th April to drill.
The N05-01 well is the first well to be drilled in the area since the early 1990s, and is operated by ONE on behalf of partners Hansa Hydrocarbons and EBN. The well is also the first in the area to be drilled with existing 3D seismic data, which has assisted Hansa in directly mapping sands and identifying a number of structurally simple, low-risk prospects.
The target reservoir is the Permian, Lower Rotliegendes Findorf Member. Reservoir quality is expected to be good, with predominantly fluvial and aeolian sandstone facies deposited in topographic lows related to the Base Permian Unconformity.
According to the Hansa website the well has the potential to open further low-risk prospectivity in the Dutch GEms acreage, with an unrisked mean gas in place volume in the order of 2 tcf.
In the event of success, Hansa say the gas would most likely be evacuated via the existing subsea T-piece in the NGT pipeline, approximately 15 km to the south. This would avoid the need for any beach crossing on the Waddenzee.
The Geldsack area and the Hansa Operated “4Quads” Licences to the north have the potential to transform the Dutch offshore industry – definitely an area to watch.