Statoil gets new Aldous drilling permit in the Norwegian North Sea

By Phaedra Friend Troy

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has given Statoil (NYSE:STO) a drilling permit for exploratory well 16/2-9, Aldous Major North, on Production License 265 in Norway's Central North Sea.

Aldous Major North is being drilled to further clarify the communication between the Aldous and Avaldsnes oil discoveries, as well as better determine the size of the oil find and potential development options.

Earlier this month, Statoil drilled the Aldous Major South oil discovery and then proved it is in communication with the Lundin-operated (TSX:LUP) Avaldsnes oil discovery on Production License 501. One of the 10 largest oil finds on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the reservoir could hold up to 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, and further drilling is expected to increase that estimate.

The Transocean Leader semisubmersible will drill the new well, following completion operations on the Aldous Major South discovery at 16/2-8. 

The wildcat well will be drilled about 12 kilometers northwest of the Aldous Major South discovery well.

Statoil serves as the operator of PL265 with 40 percent interest. Project partners include Petoro with 30 percent, Det norske oljeselskap with 20 percent and Lundin with 10 percent. Awarded in April 2001, PL265 is located on Block 16/2.

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