Drilling in the Barents Sea

December 7, 2000, 11:00 CET

The first wildcat in the North Cape Basin of the Barents Sea off northern Norway was spudded by Statoil on 5 December.

This well lies in production licence 202, which embraces blocks 7227/11-12 and 7228/7-10 about 240 kilometres north-east of Hammerfest.

Transocean Arctic is due to drill to a depth of 2,800 metres in 288 metres of water.

"The well is primarily intended to check for hydrocarbons in Upper Triassic and Jurassic sandstones," says Erik Henriksen, sector manager for the Barents Sea in the new areas unit.

This wildcat is regarded as interesting because the target structure represents a new play in a new exploration region.

Deviated drilling will be targeted at a salt dome (diapir) which penetrates the various geological strata.

This well is the fourth being drilled by Transocean Arctic in the eastern Barents Sea this year.

Norsk Hydro drilled a duster in August, while Norsk Agip found oil in early October and small quantities of gas in a second well.

These four are the first wells drilled in the Barents Sea for six years.

PL 202 was awarded in the Norway's 14B licensing round in September 1993. In addition to Statoil with 25 per cent, the partners are the state's direct financial interest (SDFI) with 30 per cent, Amerada Hess with 25 per cent and Hydro with 20 per cent.