Statoil confirms major oil discovery in the Norwegian North Sea

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Norwegian major Statoil (NYSE:STO) has confirmed that the North Sea oil fields Aldous and Avaldsenes  are in communication, proving that the recent discoveries are even larger than expected.

The two oil finds are estimated to contain a combined 500 million to 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Aldous/Avaldsnes is a giant oil discovery, and according to our estimates the combined discovery may make the top 10 list of NCS oil discoveries," said Tim Dodson, Statoil's executive vice president of exploration. "Norway has not seen a similar oil discovery since the mid-eighties.”

Statoil's Aldous was discovered in Production License 265, and the Lundin-operated (LON:ONNR) (TSX:LUP) Avaldsnes is located in PL 501.

Earlier this month, Statoil discovered a minimum 65-meter oil column with the Aldous Major South well 16/2-8. This well established common oil/water contact between the Aldous and Avaldsnes structures. 

The Aldous discovery well transected between 200 and 400 million barrels of rescoverable oil equivalent, with strong indications from well data of another 200 to 400 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent in the same structure. The Avaldsnes discovery adds another 100 to 400 barrels of recoverable reserves.

More Drilling Planned, Development Coming

The Transocean Leader will soon spud the Aldous Major North well 16/2-9 on PL 265 to further define the communication between Aldous and Avaldsnes.

Additionally, the partners plan more appraisal drilling on PL 265 in 2012 to better clarify the volume potential and a future development solution.

"The Aldous/Avaldsnes discoveries are evidence that the NCS is still attractive," Dodson said. "Making a discovery of this size in a mature area shows that exploration is all about perseverance, creativity and obtaining new knowledge.”

Located on Production License 265, Aldous Major South is operated by Statoil with 40 percent interest. Project partners include Petoro with 30 percent, Det norske oljeselskap with 20 percent and Lundin with 10 percent.

Located on Production License 501, Avaldsnes is operated by Lundin with 40 percent interest. Project partners include Statoil with 40 percent interest and Maersk with 20 percent interest.

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