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Find in Angolan ultra-deep water

July 29, 2003, 16:00 CEST

Oil has been discovered in ultra-deep water in block 31 off Angola, reports the Angolan national oil company Sonangol, and BP, which is operator for the block.

This is the third exploration well drilled by BP in block 31, in which Statoil has a 13.33 per cent share – the same share that the group has in blocks 15 and 17.

The find which has been named Saturno-1 is the result of a well drilled at a sea depth of 1,804 metres, roughly 170 kilometres west of the Angolan coast. The semi-submersible Leiv Eiriksson drilled the well down to a total distance of 4,707 metres.

The well has been tested to a maximum rate of 5,000 barrels of oil per day. BP will now do some work to evaluate the size of the Saturno discovery.

According to Morten Rye-Larsen, exploration manager for western Africa in Statoil's International Exploration & Production business area, it is important for the group to take part in the deepwater blocks off Angola. While contributing its expertise, it also stands to gain useful know-how.

Saturno-1 was found 14 kilometres north-east of the Plutão find in the same block. The latter find was announced in 2002.