Good seismic season
Seismic surveys covering more than 5,000 square kilometres have been shot by Statoil this season, and more cheaply than expected.
Three-dimensional seismic data were gathered from licences operated by the group in the North Sea, the North Atlantic and the Barents Sea at 88 per cent of the budgeted cost.
"The weather's been good, and everything's gone well," reports Karin Ask, manager for geophysical operations in the exploration technology unit.
Because of the large area to be surveyed this year, Statoil resolved for the first time to split the job between two companies: Geco-Prakla and PGS Exploration.
"They've done a good job, and we haven't experienced any major technical faults or problems," says Ms Ask.
Initial plans for 1999 call for 3-4,000 square kilometres to be surveyed, primarily off Norway. This figure is not final, and Ms Ask emphasises that tenders have as yet not been invited for the work.
The operational phase of the seismic survey season runs from April to August. In its peak year of 1997, Statoil surveyed 6,300 square kilometres.