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Norway’s Statoil has found oil and gas drilling a wildcat well next to producing oil fields in the northern part of the North Sea, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Friday.
The well was drilled from the Gullfaks C platform to a structure east of the Gimle field, about 7 km (4.35 miles) northeast of the Gullfaks field and 7 km south of the Visund Sør field, NPD said.
Preliminary estimates suggest that the find contains between 1 and 3 million standard cubic metres (Sm3) of recoverable oil equivalents, that is, between 6 million barrels and 18 million barrels of oil equivalents.
Data acquisition and sampling have been carried out, but the field had not been formation-tested, NPD said.
The discovery will be produced from a subsequent development well from the Gullfaks C platform, the directorate noted.
Statoil is the operator of the Gullfaks field, which has been developed with three large concrete production platforms, Gullfaks A, Gullfaks B, and Gullfaks C. First oil from the field was produced at the end of 1986. The recovery factor on Gullfaks is 59 percent, but Statoil’s goal is to increase it to 62 percent.
Early this year Statoil said that it would be drilling around 30 exploration wells in 2017, up by some 30 percent compared to 2016, with more than half of the wells to be drilled on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).
“Taking advantage of our own improvements and changed market conditions, we have been able to get more wells, more acreage and more seismic data for our exploration investments in later years,” Tim Dodson, Executive Vice President for Exploration in Statoil, said back then.
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Statoil is also gearing up for a major drilling campaign focusing on what could turn out to be the largest field in Norway’s Arctic shelf: the Korpfjell field. Dubbed an elephant, Korpfjell may hold up to 10 billion barrels of crude, not least because of its immediate proximity to another promising deposit, the Perseevsky oil prospect in the Russian section of the Arctic. Perseevsky is being explored by Rosneft in partnership with Statoil.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.