Urd duster disappoints

November 15, 1999, 13:30 CET

A wildcat drilled by Statoil on its Urd prospect in the North Sea, previously regarded as promising, failed to find any traces of hydrocarbons.

"This result is disappointing," says Knut G Røssland, vice president for new ventures in Exploration & Production Norway.

He reports that great expectations were attached to the prospect, which was Statoil's top priority in this year's Norwegian "North Sea" offshore licensing round.

At the same time, it was clear that this acreage involved a substantial level of risk.

A quick start to drilling on Urd has been important for Statoil, since a conclusion about its possible reserves – or lack of these – would be significant for further exploration in the area.

Mr Røssland emphasises that the dry well has yielded valuable information which the group can use in evaluating other prospects off Norway. He is also pleased that the actual operation was successful.

"We hit the reservoir at the expected depth, for instance, the age of the formation was what we expected, and the drilling progressed much faster than we had planned."

Results from the well will now be evaluated and interpreted in an attempt to determine why no hydrocarbons were present.

If Statoil concludes that the licence is without potential, it will be relinquished to the authorities.

The well was drilled from Byford Dolphin, which spudded on 21 October and completed the job three weeks later.

Urd straddles blocks 25/3 and 25/6 in production licence 245, about 40 kilometres north-west of Norsk Hydro's Heimdal field.