Drilling new well in the Barents Sea

February 19, 2001, 08:00 CET

Statoil has commenced drilling a new exploration well in the Delta structure in block 7121/5 south east of the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea.

Transocean Arctic began drilling in the structure, which lies 120 km north west of Hammerfest, on 16 February. This is the same rig that recently found oil and gas for Statoil on production licence 202 in the North Cape basin.

Drilling is important to clarify the oil potential in the area around Snøhvit, says Erik Henriksen, who is in charge of exploration in the Barents Sea.

The purpose of the drilling is to determine whether there are hydrocarbons in sandstones from the Jurassic period.

The plan is to drill to a total depth of 2184 metres, whilst the water depth at the drilling site is 345 metres.

The licensees in Snøhvit intend to send a plan for development and operation (PUD) to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in summer 2001.

An important part of this work is to evaluate alternative solutions for profitable development of the petroleum resources in the Snøhvit area, says Mr Henriksen.