Saga find off mid-Norway

December 23, 1999, 09:30 CET

A discovery by Saga Petroleum on the Halten Bank off mid-Norway has strengthened prospects for profitable production from this part of the Norwegian Sea.

Given the name Erlend, the gas and condensate find lies in a separate structure west of Saga's Kristin field in block 6406/2.

Statoil is due to take over as operator for production licence 199, which embraces this acreage, on 1 January as a consequence of Norsk Hydro's acquisition of Saga.

Scheduled for completion by 24 December, discovery well 6406/2-7 has been drilled by Transocean Arctic.

This find will provide interesting supplementary resources when the licensees come to decide on a development of Halten Bank South, reports Stein Thorbjørnsen, Halten area manager in Statoil.

The original collaboration agreement for Halten Bank South expires on 31 December, and two replacement deals are being established.

One covers Halten West, embracing the Kristin, Lavrans, Ragnfrid and Erlend discoveries, while the other will apply to the Halten East area with Tyrihans and Trestakk.

These finds lie in PLs 199 and 134, which will both be operated in future by Statoil. Acquiring Saga gives Norsk Hydro 12 per cent in each licence, while Statoil will have 28 per cent in the first and 23 per cent in the second.

The Halten Bank will be an important priority area for Statoil, says Mr Thorbjørnsen.

"A number of finds have been made in PL 199, and the area has long been characterised by a high level of activity. We wish to maintain that, since both licences contain very interesting prospects which we want to explore."

He adds that Saga has done an excellent job as operator, and that taking over responsibility for this acreage presents a substantial challenge.