Wildcat on Verdandi

May 22, 2003, 10:00 CEST

The first exploration well on Statoil's Verdandi prospect in block 16/1 of the North Sea was spudded today, 22 May.

The block lies about 25 kilometres south-west of Norsk Hydro's Grane field.

"We are primarily looking for oil in this well," says Øivind Dahl-Stamnes, sector manager in the exploration Norway business cluster. He adds that there is much uncertainty about the possibility for a discovery in Verdandi, as is always the case in new prospects.

The drilling operation is being performed by the Borgland Dolphin rig and is expected to take one month.

As operator, Statoil is carrying out the drilling on behalf of licence 167. The licensees are Det norske oljeselskap (20 per cent) and Statoil (80 per cent). The block was awarded in the 13th licensing round in 1991.