Encouraging on Tornerose

September 15, 2006, 09:45 CEST

A gas discovery made by Statoil on the Tornerose structure in the Barents Sea is under consideration in connection with an expansion of the Hammerfest LNG plant in northern Norway.

“This discovery is encouraging,” comments Tim Dodson, the group’s senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf.

“It strengthens opportunities for expanding the Snøhvit gas liquefaction facility at Melkøya, and therefore marks an important stage in efforts to enlarge the resource base in the area.”

However, further development of the Hammerfest LNG plant would call for more gas than Tornerose can potentially contribute, and Statoil has a busy exploration plan for the Barents Sea.

“The Tornerose discovery confirms that we’re heading in the right direction,” says Mr Dodson. “This structure is viable.”

Drilled by Polar Pioneer in 408 metres of water, exploration well 7122/6-2 in production licence 110B proved gas in several sandstone layers from the late Triassic.

It was drilled to a total measured depth of 3,057 metres below sea level about 60 kilometres east of the Statoil-operated Snøhvit field and roughly 100 kilometres north-west of Hammerfest.

This phase of the work on Tornerose is due to be completed on 19 September, when the well will be permanently plugged and abandoned.

However, Statoil is planning to drill further wells in the Snøhvit area next year and in 2008.

Polar Pioneer will now move to Eni to drill appraisal well 7122/7-4 on the Goliat structure in production licence 229, where Statoil is also a licensee.

The group has a 33.53% interest in Tornerose. Its partners are Petoro (30%), Total E&P Norge (18.4%), Gaz de France Norge (12%) Hess Norge (3.26%) and RWE Dea Norge (2.81%).