No hydrocarbons in Guovca

May 13, 2005, 11:15 CEST

A wildcat drilled by Statoil on its Guovca prospect in the Barents Sea failed to find any traces of hydrocarbons.

The data collected confirms that there is sandstone of reservoir quality in the area. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned by the Eirik Raude rig.

Guovca is the second of four exploration wells due to be drilled in the Barents Sea this year.

Eirik Raude will now move to the Norwegian Sea to drill on Statoil’s Tulipan prospect before returning to the Barents Sea to drill a wildcat on the group's Uranus prospect this autumn. The rig will also drill a well on the Goliat find for Eni.

"Even though no oil or gas was proven on Guovca, we still have great expectations for the Barents Sea, and we firmly believe in the potential for new discoveries in the north," says Tim Dodson, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf.

"We will review our experiences from Guovca and the Hydro-operated Obelix well which was drilled earlier this year and take that knowledge with us in our further work in the Barents Sea. We still have many opportunities to make discoveries in the vast waters off northern Norway, and these will be important to us in the further development of the Snøhvit facilities and the coming 19th licensing round."

Partners in production licence 233 are Statoil with 50 per cent, Norsk Hydro 35 per cent and Eni Norge 15 per cent.