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Statoil Comes Up Empty Handed In Barents Sea

Norway’s Statoil found no oil at its Korpfjell exploration well—the first well drilled in the Norwegian section of a formerly disputed area between Norway and Russia, and the northernmost wildcat well drilled on the Norwegian shelf.

Statoil did find small, non-commercial quantities of natural gas at Korpfjell, but it’s not profitable to develop, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said in its statement, adding that this was the first well to be drilled in the southeastern Barents Sea that was opened for exploration activity in 2013.

“The results are of course disappointing, but it is too early to draw any conclusions on how this will impact the Barents Sea southeast area,” Jez Averty, Statoil’s head of exploration in Norway and the UK, said in Statoil’s press release published on Tuesday.  

“Despite an exciting discovery in Kayak and traces of oil in Gemini North, we have so far not had a direct hit that may result in a new standalone field development,” Averty noted.

Korpfjell is the fourth well that Statoil has drilled in its 2017 exploration campaign in the Barents Sea, which has been fairly disappointing so far.

Earlier this month, Statoil made a small non-commercial gas-only discovery in the third well in the Barents Sea it had drilled in 2017, underwhelming earlier expectations that it could prove additional oil resources close to the Wisting discovery. 

Statoil’s first drilled Barents Sea well in 2017, the Kayak well in the Johan Castberg license, found oil totaling between 25 and 50 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents, according to the Norwegian company. Two weeks later, in the Blåmann well between the Snøhvit and Goliat fields in the Barents Sea, Statoil found small volumes of gas, but its goal was to find oil.

The Korpfjell well—in which Statoil’s partners are Chevron, Petoro, Lundin Norway, and ConocoPhillips—will be permanently plugged and abandoned, and the drilling rig will move to drill in the Koigen Central prospect in the western part of the Barents Sea, Statoil said today.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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