Statoil prepares ‘major’ exploration campaign in Barents Sea

Norwegian oil company Statoil aims to conduct a major exploration campaign in several parts of the Barents Sea in 2017.

During the past months, Statoil has increased its share in several licenses in the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea through agreements with Point Resources, DEA, OMV, and ConocoPhillips.

Statoil has increased its interest in five licenses. Namely, its increased shares regard licenses 722, 615 and 615B on the Hoop discovery and licenses 718 and 720 on the Stappenhøyden area.

Jez Averty, Statoil’s head of exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), said: “We have worked systematically on developing an exploration portfolio for testing good and independent prospects in 2017 and 2018.

“For 2017 we see promising prospects in different parts of the Barents Sea. For example, we want to explore the Blåmann prospect in the Goliat area, Koigen Central in PL718 on Stappen High and the Korpfjell prospect in PL859 that was awarded in the 23rd licensing round.”

In addition to an exploration well in PL849 (Blamann), awarded in the Award in Predefined Areas (APA) in January 2016, Statoil and the operator Eni have also agreed on drilling a new exploration well in PL229 (Goliat) in 2017.

Statoil already has a rig on contract which is suitable for operation in the Barents Sea. The company is working on obtaining approval from partners and authorities for an exploration campaign in 2017 covering between five and seven wells in the Barents Sea.

Averty added: “Giving us access to new acreage, the transactions demonstrate our belief in continued exploration potential on the NCS. We have played a leading role in the Barents Sea for 40 years, and we are still a guarantee for high activity in the area.”

Statoil said that new and major discoveries are crucial to maintaining the current NCS production level up to 2030 and beyond, especially areas off North Norway.

“Through these agreements, we are strongly increasing our presence in the Hoop area, we are fortifying our position around Johan Castberg, and we see new opportunities in the southwestern part of the Barents Sea.

“We have also worked efficiently on reducing costs by developing new technology, such as Cap-XTM, and improving drilling efficiency. The wells to be drilled in the south-eastern part of the Barents Sea next year seem to be the most inexpensive offshore exploration wells throughout Statoil,” said Averty.

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