Promising find off Nigeria

January 19, 2000, 08:00 CET

An oil discovery recently made by Texaco in block 216 off Nigeria is arousing interest in Statoil.

A substantial proportion of the oil-bearing structure appears to extend into the neighbouring block 217, where Statoil is operator with a 54 per cent interest.

This exploration well is Texaco's second in the Agbami structure, 350 kilometres south-east of Lagos. Drilled last year, the first well encountered several oil-bearing strata.

The latest well has confirmed that the discovery could be substantial. A preliminary estimate puts resources in the structure at roughly one billion barrels of oil.

Statoil considers the find highly interesting, says Susan Cunningham, exploration manager for the group's Nigerian subsidiary.

"According to our interpretations from the area, 25-35 per cent of Agbami extends into block 217."

She adds that Statoil is planning to drill this formation, but no date has been set for starting this operation.

The group has drilled a total of seven exploration wells off Nigeria since 1995, and has previously proven oil and gas in block 218, where it is also operator.

Texaco is Statoil's partner in blocks 217 and 218, with a 46 per cent interest