Byford drills the B prospect

August 31, 2001, 09:45 CEST

The drilling rig Byford Dolphin has commenced drilling an appraisal well near the Sleipner area of the North Sea.

The purpose of the well is to test the hydrocarbon potential in the B prospect in block 24/12.

“We hope to make a large enough oil find that can be developed later,” reports sector manager Øivind A Dahl-Stamnes in the new areas, North Sea unit.

The well is being drilled in production licence 204. The licence, which consists of blocks 24/9 and 24/12, was awarded in the 15th licensing round in 1996. The blocks lie half-way between the Statoil-operated Sleipner fields and TotalFinaElf’s Frigg field on the border with the UK continental shelf.

A well was previously drilled in the licence, 24/12-3S. A small oil find was made there, but the proven reserves were not large enough to warrant a development.

The well currently being drilled, 24/12-4, will test Palaeolithic sandstone layers. It will be drilled to a total depth of around 2,300 metres and is expected to be finished in the middle of September.

Statoil is operator for the licence with a 35 per cent stake. The other partners are Petoro (30 per cent), Amerada Hess (20 per cent) and Enterprise Oil (15 per cent).