Drilling in Tornerose

August 11, 2006, 09:00 CEST

Statoil has started drilling an appraisal well in the Tornerose prospect in the Barents Sea. The Polar Pioneer rig commenced drilling on Thursday 10 August.

The Polar Pioneer rig started drilling an appraisal well at Tornerose on 10 August.

The well is being drilled to assess the extent of the petroleum reserves in the prospect.

"This appraisal well is important," says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for exploration in Statoil’s Exploration & Production Norway business area.

"It will enable us to prove gas which can strengthen the basis for a possible expansion of the Hammerfest LNG plant on Melkøya."

Tornerose lies about 55 kilometres east of Snøhvit and 125 kilometres north-west of Hammerfest. Water depth in the area is just over 400 metres.

The drilling operations are expected to take about 40 days.

Statoil is operator of Tornerose with a 33.53% holding. The other licensees are Petoro (30%), Total E&P Norge (18.40%), Gaz de France Norge (12%), Amerada Hess Norge (3.26%) and RWE Dea Norge (2.81%)