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Greenland drilling delay

January 28, 1999, 08:00 CET

Drilling on the Fylla licence off western Greenland has been postponed from the summer until next year by operator Statoil and its partners.

This decision follows delays to the West Navion drillship, which was built in South Korea and is currently being outfitted at the Offshore & Marine yard in Sandnes near Stavanger.

Management responsibility for the vessel rests with Stavanger-based drilling contractor Smedvig, which owns it jointly with Statoil's Navion shipping and offshore subsidiary.

The original plan was to have West Navion ready for operation last autumn.

Efforts by the Fylla partners to secure an alternative drilling unit able to work this summer in the demanding waters west of Greenland have been unsuccessful, reports Ånon Spinnangr. He is Statoil's project manager for the licence.

Located about 150 kilometres west of the city of Nuuk, the acreage covers 9,487 square kilometres or the equivalent of 17 Norwegian North Sea blocks. Water depths go down towards 1,200 metres.

Fylla represents the first licence awarded off Greenland since an initial period of exploration in these waters during the 1970s. Seismic surveys in the area have identified interesting geological structures which could contain hydrocarbons.

Statoil's partners in this acreage are Phillips Petroleum, Denmark's Dopas and Dano-Greenland company Nunaoil.