Duster off Ireland

June 29, 2001, 10:00 CEST

Statoil Exploration Ireland has completed exploratory drilling of the Sarsfield Prospect off Ireland without finding any hydrocarbons.

The well has been plugged and abandoned. Initial findings indicate that the Sarsfield Prospect does not contain reserves of oil or gas. Sarsfield is located in the Porcupine Basin, about 170 kilometres west of County Kerry.

Over the coming months Statoil Exploration will analyse the data from the well to determine whether further exploration will be carried out in this area.

Having completed drilling, the Transocean rig Sovereign Explorer is now on its way to the Faroes.

According to Egil Endresen in Statoil Exploration Ireland, these results are disappointing.

"But we were always cautious with our outlook. We have obtained valuable drilling data which we will study in the coming months to ascertain if further exploratory drilling in the area is an option at some future date", says Mr Endresen.

Statoil Exploration is committed to the Irish continental shelf and has interests in seven licences. The Atlantic Margin, which stretches from off western Ireland to northern Norway, is one of the most important areas in the group's international exploration operations.

Statoil Exploration Ireland holds a 42 per cent interest in Sarsfield and is operator on behalf of its partners Chevron, Conoco, Enterprise Energy Ireland and Dana Petroleum.