Drilling off Ireland

March 8, 2001, 10:30 CET

Statoil plans to drill the first exploration well on the Sarsfield prospect on the Irish continental shelf sometime this spring.

Drilling will be carried out by the rig Sovereign Explorer, which will arrive at the field in May.

The Sarsfield prospect lies in the Porcupine Basin west of Ireland. Drilling will take place in licence no 8/95 at a water depth of around 650 metres. Other partners in the exploration licence include Conoco UK, Enterprise Energy Ireland and Dana Petroleum.

Statoil has chosen Fenit harbour on the west coast of Ireland as the base to provide support for the rig in connection with drilling.

According to Egil Endresen, head of Statoil’s exploration off Ireland, the main reason Fenit was selected was because the harbour lies near the field and is well developed. Statoil will be able to utilise the existing infrastructure at the harbour.

Statoil has previously drilled one exploration well on the Connemara field in the Porcupine Basin. Results showed that it was not profitable to develop that field.