Nigeria well postponed

September 7, 1998, 05:00 CEST

An exploration well due to be spudded by Statoil off Nigeria over the weekend has been postponed. The delay arose because rig operator Reading & Bates had been unable to obtain government approval for its M G Hulme Jr unit.

This vessel is now on site, and the well should be spudded during the day. The deepwater well is operated by the Statoil/BP alliance in Nigerian offshore block 217, about 150 kilometres west of Port Harcourt.

Located in 1 000-1 500 metres of water, this acreage has not been drilled previously.

Statoil expects to take three months to drill the well, which is regarded as demanding because it will extend about 3 000 metres under the seabed into formations where high pressures are likely.

With a 35 per cent stake, Statoil is operator on behalf of the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. BP also has 35 per cent, while Texaco holds 30 per cent.