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Finds at Sleipner

March 14, 2007, 09:00 CET

Operator Statoil has proven gas and condensate in the Biotitt prospect in the North Sea using the West Epsilon rig, which is now continuing its exploration programme in the area.

The 16/4-4 wildcat in production licence 339 was drilled to a total depth of 2,360 metres below sea level. Drilling was halted in rocks of Cretaceous age with gas and condensate being proven in the Heimdal formation of Tertiary age.

"We will assess whether to produce the find using the Sleipner platform," says Tim Dodson, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration in Exploration & Production Norway (EPN).

"An evaluation and analysis of the gathered data will now be carried out to determine the find's resource potential. A joint development with the 16/7-2 find south of Biotitt could be an option.

"Biotitt is a good start in a comprehensive exploration programme in the North Sea in the next few years," he says.

The Biotitt find lies approximately 20 kilometres north-east of the North Sea's Sleipner field. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.

The well was drilled using the West Epsilon drilling rig in 91 metres of water. Statoil has a three-year contract with the Seadrill company for hire of the jack-up rig which can operate at depths of up to 120 metres.

West Epsilon is now being moved to its next location which is the Ermintrude prospect in block 15/6 in production licence 303, 10 kilometres north of the Sleipner field.

The licensees in exploration licence 339, awarded in 2004, are Statoil with a 70% share and ExxonMobil with 30%.