A promising hydrocarbon discovery has been made by Statoil south-west of its Norne field in the Norwegian Sea.
The find lies in block 6507/3, which forms part of production licence 159 and is 170 kilometres off the coast of northern Norway.
It remains too early to say anything about the size of possible recoverable reserves, or what type of hydrocarbons are present in the structure.
Statoil is currently evaluating well data, and plans to drill a sidetrack towards the east in order to clarify the potential of the discovery and possible reserves in the lower part of the formation.
As with the original well, this work will be done by Byford Dolphin. Under revised plans, the rig is remaining in the area until 15 April.
Exploration well 6507/3-3 was drilled to a structure between Heidrun and Norne in 392 metres of water, going down to a total measured depth of 3,830 metres below sea level.
During this operation, 220 metres of core samples were recovered and extensive logging was done. No separate production tests are planned.
Statoil has a 50 per cent interest in PL 159, including 20 per cent for the state's direct financial interest (SDFI). Its partners are Enterprise Oil with 40 per cent and Saga Petroleum with 10 per cent.
The Alve gas and condensate discovery was made in the same area in 1990. This find put Statoil on the track of the Norne field. BP Amoco recently found the Skarv oil and gas field just south of the 6507/3 block.