Norway’s Statoil has announced two oil and gas discoveries in the Norwegian part of the North Sea, highlighting the potential for more discoveries in an area already thought to be mature.
Statoil and its partners have discovered a new gas deposit in the Askja West prospect and a new oil deposit in the Askja East prospect in the North Sea, with total volumes from both discoveries estimated to be in the range of 19 - 44 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.
"The North Sea is a highly prolific petroleum basin that has delivered new discoveries consistently for over four decades. We are convinced that there are still attractive opportunities both in near-field exploration and in more material growth plays," May-Liss Hauknes, vice president exploration North Sea in Statoil said in a press release.
According to a note released by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, two wells in the projects were drilled to respective vertical depths of 3,637 and 3,646 meters below the sea surface.
Statoil is the operator of the wells, with a 50% interest, while partners Svenska Petroleum Exploration AS and Det norske oljeselskap hold 25% each.
The wells are the second and third exploration wells in the Askja production license awarded in 2001. Both wells were drilled by Ocean Vanguard and located between the Oseberg and Frigg fields, about 13 kilometers southeast of the Statoil-operated Krafla/Krafla West finds made three years ago.
In November, Statoil announced an oil discovery in the Snilehord prospect of the Norwegian Sea. It estimated the prospect holds as much as 100 million barrels of recoverable oil and was the company’s third discovery in the region in as many months.
Also last year, the company announced plans to invest $7 billion in a North Sea Mariner oil field, bringing hundreds of jobs to the north east of Scotland. At the time, Statoil said this investment would represent the largest new offshore development in the UK in more than a decade.
Statoil expects to start production from Mariner in 2017, which should be around 55,000 barrels of oil per day until 2020.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com