Aker BP Makes "Significant" Oil Discovery in North Sea

The Yggdrasil development plan (Aker BP)

Published May 25, 2023 10:58 PM by The Maritime Executive

Aker BP has made a significant oil discovery in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, near its planned Yggdrasil development. In an exploration well in block 25/2, Aker BP found about 40-90 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), twice what it had expected to encounter. 

The well was drilled by Saipem's Scarabeo 8 semisub rig, just three months after Aker BP received consent for exploration drilling at the site. 

“We are extremely pleased with the results of this well. The discovery will be evaluated as a potential addition to the Yggdrasil development. We see further upside potential around Yggdrasil and, in collaboration with our partners, will continue active exploration in the area," said SVP of E&P Per Oyvind Seljebotn in a statement. 

Yggdrasil (formerly known as Noaka) was previously estimated to have recoverable resources in the range of 650 mmboe. The cluster of fields will be operated by Aker BP, and non-operating interests incude Equinor  and PGNiG. 

The partners took a final investment decision on the development in December. The plan calls for a high tech, first-of-its-kind operating model with "remotely controlled operations, unmanned production platforms, new technology and data-driven decisions and work processes." A control room on shore in Stavanger will run most of the day-to-day business of the platforms. 

Yggdrasil is the largest element in a package of 10 proposed offshore oil and gas developments that Aker BP submitted for regulatory approval last year. Taken together, these projects are worth about $20 billion, outstripping the scale of all but the most ambitious green-transition investments in Europe. AkerBP CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik described the firm's remarkable offshore O&G program as a "manifestation of our ambition to create the oil and gas company of the future – with low costs, low emissions, profitable growth and attractive returns."

Aker BP became Europe's largest independent oil company in 2021 after acquiring Lundin's offshore oil and gas business, including Lundin's 20 percent stake in the world-class Johan Sverdrup field.