Statoil to ramp up Barents Sea activity in 2017

Statoil ASA plans to step up exploration efforts in several parts of the Barents Sea in 2017-18. The Blamann (PL849) prospect in the Goliat area, Koigen Central in PL718 on Stappen High, and the Korpfjell prospect in PL859 each hold promise for future exploration, the firm says.

The Norwegian operator in January was awarded the Blamann prospect in the 2015 APA round and plans to drill an exploration well in 2017 (OGJ Online, Jan. 25, 2016). The company also reported it will partner with Eni SPA on an exploration well in the Goliat license PL229. In all, Statoil plans to drill 5-7 wells in the Barents Sea within the next year, and has a suitable rig on contract.

Statoil has entered or increased its share in five licenses in the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea within the past several months. Jez Avery, Statoil head of exploration, cited the new acreage “demonstrates our belief in continued exploration potential on the NCS.”

Statoil entered License 722 of the Hoop area by acquiring 35% interest from Point Resources; bought 25% from ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS and 20% from OMV (Norge) AS in Licenses 615 and 615B in Hoop, bringing its total stake in both licenses to 80%; and bought 30% from ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS and 10% from DEA Norge AS in Licenses 718 and 720 in the Stappenhoyden area, bringing its total operated interest in both licenses to 60%.

The operator completed a comprehensive exploration campaign in the Barents Sea in 2013-14 with no impact discoveries, but it did add volumes to Johan Castberg through the Drivis discovery (OGJ Online, May 2, 2014).

The company has worked on reducing costs through technology development. Averty added, “The wells to be drilled in the southeastern part of the Barents Sea next year seem to be the most inexpensive offshore exploration wells throughout Statoil.”

All agreements are subject to government approval.

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