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Drilling record in Venezuela

November 29, 2000, 09:00 CET

A world record for drilling with a 12 1/4-inch bit has been set by Venezuela's Sincor heavy crude project, in which Statoil has a 15 per cent interest.

The bit was used to deviate eight well paths from vertical to horizontal over a total length of 5,122 metres, compared with a previous record of 3,662 metres.

According to Tore Larsen, manager for well work in the project, new technology has been adopted for direct transfer of downhole data to geological simulation models.

This gives everyone involved access to updated information via an intranet, with opportunities to take quick decisions while drilling ahead.

Sincor is developing a heavy crude field in the Zuata region, about 200 kilometres from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas. This area is estimated to contain 45 billion barrels of oil.

Seven rigs have drilled 100 extended-reach horizontal wells over the past 14 months.

Early production from the field is due to begin towards the end of the year, with full output scheduled by the end of 2002.