Statoil completes the Ballena well

July 8, 2007, 15:00 CEST

Statoil has completed the drilling of Ballena, the second of the three wells that are part of the exploration campaign in Block 4 of Plataforma Deltana, located offshore eastern Venezuela. Out of two intervals tested, one flowed gas at significant rates.

The Ballena well was drilled in 350 meters of water. No well has been drilled in deeper water in Venezuela to date.

The rig, Sovereign Explorer, will be moved to the next well location, Orca. This is the third and last well of the exploration campaign of the Block 4. 

"We are satisfied with the completion of the challenging Ballena well where hydrocarbons have been found, but it is too early to say if these are commercially viable volumes," said Thore E Kristiansen, Statoil Venezuela's country president.

"Further evaluation of the results will be done in the coming months with a decision dependent on the outcome of the last well. This drilling campaign has generated more than 500 directly and indirectly related jobs in Venezuela."

Plataforma Deltana Block 4 is a license awarded to Statoil by the Venezuelan government in 2003. Statoil, with a 51% interest, is the operator of the license in which Total has the remaining 49%.

PDVSA Gas has the option to participate up to 35 % once a commercial discovery has been declared.