Oil find near Norne
An oil discovery has been made by Statoil in Norwegian Sea block 6608/10, about 10 kilometres north-east of its Norne field.
Preliminary estimates show that the find could contain at least 60 million recoverable barrels, reports Yngve Vassmyr, exploration vice president at Statoil's northern Norway office in Harstad.
That would correspond to twice the reserves in the group's Yme field in the North Sea.
Cores show reservoir sands with good production properties, and Statoil is investigating the discovery in greater detail to determine the exact volumes present.
No decision has been taken on possible production testing of this 6608/10-6 well either now or during the autumn. Drilling more exploration wells will also be considered.
Statoil has been exploring the area around Norne in the hope of finding supplementary resources, and Mr Vassmyr says that the latest find has boosted the prospects of new Norwegian Sea discoveries.
He hopes to submit a preliminary plan for development and operation to the authorities as soon as possible, with the aim of starting production within two years.
Norne will have gone off plateau by then, providing spare capacity on its production ship to handle oil from the new structure and other possible fields in the area.
The idea is to develop the latest discovery with a subsea template tied back to the Norne ship.
Statoil has a 40 per cent interest in 6608/10. The other licensees are the state's direct financial interest (SDFI) with 25 per cent, Norsk Hydro 13.5 per cent, Agip 11.5 per cent and Enterprise Oil 10 per cent.