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New discovery off Angola

November 25, 2003, 14:05 CET

A new deepwater discovery has been made in block 31 off Angola in western Africa, according to operator BP and state oil company Sonangol. Statoil has a 13.33 per cent interest.

Dubbed Marte, this find is the third to be made with four wildcats in the block. The first two were named Plutão and Saturno.

BP reports that the Marte-1 well was drilled in 2,000 metres of water to a total measured depth of 4,193 metres. It flowed 5,200 barrels per day in a production test.

The operator is planning to drill yet another wildcat – Vénus-1 – on this acreage during 2003. Block 31 was awarded in 1999.

Apart from Statoil, the licensees are BP with 26.67 per cent, Exxon Exploration and Production Angola, 25 per cent, Sonangol, 20 per cent, Marathon Petroleum Angola Block 31, 10 per cent, and EPA (Total), five per cent.

Participation in deepwater blocks 15, 17 and 31 - in all of which it has the same 13.33 per cent share – is important for Statoil because it can contribute and obtain useful expertise.

That point is made by Morten Rye-Larsen, the group’s exploration manager for western Africa in the International Exploration & Production business area.

Activity off Angola has been high this year, with the Kizomba A, Kizomba B and Xikomba discoveries in block 15 all under development.

Development of the Dalia discovery in block 17 – where the Girassol field was brought on stream in December 2001 – has also been approved.