Gjallar seismic starts

July 13, 2004, 14:15 CEST

Seismic data gathering was initiated by Statoil last week on its Gjallar North exploration prospect, awarded as part of Norway’s recent 18th offshore licensing round.

Covering blocks 6705/8, 9 and 11, this production licence in the northernmost Norwegian Sea is one of four operatorships gained by the group, which also secured holdings in five other licences.

“We are getting to grips with our commitments as quickly as possible,” says Tor Fjæran, senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

“Work is in full swing on fulfilling the programmes we have accepted. That applies to everything from seismic shooting to drilling.”

Statoil has earlier chartered Ocean Rig’s Eirik Raude drilling unit, which has worked under Arctic conditions off Canada and is now in Cuban waters.

This vessel will be moving to Norway to drill on the Troll field in the North Sea this autumn, before mobilising to the Barents Sea for three wells in the course of the winter.

The charter with Ocean Rig includes an option to use the rig on one of the company’s 18th-round blocks, where drilling could begin next year.

With no less than 46 blocks awarded, the 18th round was one of the largest ever on the NCS.