Statoil, partners make gas/condensate discovery north of Åsgard

Norwegian Petroleum Directorate

Statoil, together with its PL479 partners, has made a gas/condensate discovery in the Smørbukk North prospect at Haltenbanken in the Norwegian Sea. Exploration well 6506/9-3, drilled by the drilling rig Transocean Leader, has proven a 40-meter gas/condensate column in a down-to situation in the Garn formation of mid-Jurassic age.

In addition, a thin gas/condensate column was proven deeper in the mid-Jurassic Ile formation. The reservoir properties of the Garn formation are good, while somewhat poorer than expected in the Ile formation.

The preliminary estimated volume of the discovery is in the range of 25-47 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.

"We are very pleased with having proven the new resources," said Gro G. Haatvedt, senior vice president exploration Norway in Statoil. "The three discoveries comprising the Åsgard field were all made in the 1980s. Making a new discovery in the area 30 years later is encouraging and proves the exciting remaining potential on the Norwegian continental shelf."

Smørbukk North is a typical example of timely near-field exploration, which is an important element in Statoil's sharpened exploration strategy for the the Norwegian continental shelf. Smørbukk North was a high-temperature well, so special attention was given to ensuring safe drilling operations.

"Smørbukk North was a demanding well to drill, but, due to thorough planning and extra HSE focus, the operations have so far been carried out without serious incidents and are currently 21 days ahead of schedule," Haatvedt said.

Exploration well 6506/9-3 is situated in PL479 in the Norwegian Sea. Statoil is operator with an interest of 40.95%. The partners are ENI Norge AS, 19.6%; Petoro AS, 14.95%; ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Norway AS, 14.7%; and Total E&P Norge AS, 9.8%.

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