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Exploration well number 1000

February 23, 2001, 11:30 CET

Statoil will drill exploration well number 1000 on the Norwegian continental shelf. This will be an appraisal well near the Norne field in the Norwegian Sea.

Statoil drilled its first exploration well in the Sleipner area of the North Sea in 1975.

“At that time we were just apprentices learning from Esso, who provided technical assistance,” says Tor Fjæran, senior vice president for new areas in Exploration & Production Norway (UPN).

A year later Statoil stood on its own when it drilled exploration well 1/9-1 on the Tommeliten field in the North Sea. The well determined the development of the field. Likewise, well number 1000 may be decisive for the development of the Svale field near Norne.

Since Tommeliten was abandoned, Statoil has developed the drilling technology from vertical wells to horizontal wells up to 9000 metres. That is almost three times deeper than on Tommeliten. The oil companies have also moved exploration northwards. Whilst Tommeliten was the southern-most Statoil operated field in production, Norne is the northern-most field in operation on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Appraisal well 6608/10-7 which will now be drilled is Statoil’s 251st exploration well on the Norwegian continental shelf. In total, the company has drilled around 808 kilometres, almost equal to the distance between Tommeliten and Norne.

According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, 771 of the 1000 wells have been drilled in the North Sea, 167 in the Norwegian Sea and 62 in the Barents Sea.