Offered two operatorships

April 14, 2000, 16:00 CEST

Two operatorships and interests in three other licences have been offered to Statoil in Norway's 16th offshore licensing round.

This acreage all lies in the Norwegian Sea, which is the only part of the continental shelf covered by the round.

The operatorships cover the extension of the Erlend and Ragnfrid discoveries into unallocated blocks, and a licence in the deepwater Møre West area.

Statoil has also been offered 20 per cent in the "President" blocks south of the Kristin and Lavrans discoveries on Halten Bank South, as well as holdings in two blocks near its Åsgard development and in blocks 6507/1 and 2 in the Skarv area of Halten Bank North.

"We're disappointed at failing to become operator on our first-choice block, 6506/5," admits Tor Fjæran, senior vice president for new areas in Exploration & Production Norway.

"But we're nevertheless pleased to have secured a substantial licence interest."

He adds that Statoil will cooperate constructively with operator Shell on this interesting acreage to identify the best development solution.

The group's position in Halten Bank South has been strengthened by the 16th-round awards, Mr Fjæran says. It has expanded its acreage and is now operator for all the discoveries in this area.

According to the Mr Fjæran, the resource base identified with the Kristin, Lavrans, Ragnfrid and Erlend finds provides a good basis for developing the area along with the newly-awarded President blocks.

The operatorship in Møre West forms part of an unexplored region which could open the way for a new and interesting exploration model.

More detailed seismic surveys will be needed before possible drilling can begin, Mr Fjæran notes.

See map of the 16th-round awards