Promising North Sea finds

May 29, 2007, 14:15 CEST

Operator Statoil has made a promising oil discovery in the North Sea's Ermintrude prospect. Deposits are reckoned to be in the region of 50 million barrels of recoverable reserves.

"Ermintrude can give valuable additional resources at the Sleipner area," says Tim Dodson, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration in Exploration & Production Norway (EPN).

"The well is an important part of our exploration programme and can contribute to our ambition of producing one million boe per day from the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) until 2015."

Wildcat 15/6-9 S in block 15/6 lies 10 kilometres north of the Sleipner area in production licence (PL) 303. The well was drilled in a water depth of 114 metres to a total depth of 3,850 metres below sea level. Drilling was halted in rocks of Triassic age.

The well was found to contain light oil in sandstones of mid-Jurassic age. A small gas find was also proven in sandstones of Tertiary age.

"We will now drill a sidetrack well further up in the Ermintrude structure to establish if there is gas/condensate above the oil that has been discovered," says Mr Dodson.

"A prospective development, and what solution is chosen, depends on what can be proven in the sidetrack."

After its Ermintrude duties, the West Epsilon rig will continue its Sleipner area exploration programme. Statoil has a three-year contract with the Seadrill company for the hire of the jack-up rig.

West Epsilon's exploration programme has so far yielded promising results, with operator Statoil proving gas and condensate in the Biotitt prospect in the Sleipner area earlier this spring.

"Statoil has great faith in the NCS," says Mr Dodson. "Ermintrude shows that our NCS focus gives results."

Statoil has a 100% interest in PL 303.

Jone Stangeland, vice president for public affairs, Exploration & Production Norway: +47 91 56 68 69 (mobile), +47 51 99 34 70 (office)
Ola Morten Aanestad, vice president media relations: + 47 48 08 02 12 (mobile), +47 51 99 13 77 (office)