Norsk Hydro says discoveries boost Oseberg reserves in North Sea

b>By the OGJ Online Staff

LONDON, Nov. 16 -- Norsk Hydro AS said Friday it expects to link three discoveries in a subsea development tied into the Oseberg field center.

The company has made two oil and gas discoveries near Oseberg and had an undeveloped find. Oseberg, including Oseberg West field, are on blocks 30.6 and 30/9 in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

Johan Mikkelsen, Hydro's Oseberg field manager, said, "These finds, made on the Vestflank section of the Oseberg field, are encouraging.

"Hydro estimates new recoverable reserves at about 120 million bbl of oil and 3.4 billion cu m (bcm) of gas. We'd previously calculated some 70 million bbl of oil and 2.6 bcm gas in the area. We're now estimating recoverable reserves at a total of approximately 190 million bbl of oil and 6 bcm of gas, and are in the process of establishing a project to develop the resources as quickly as possible."

Norsk Hydro said it and other Oseberg area shareholders have drilled seven exploration wells in the infrastructure area during the past 5 years.

Oseberg Vest (part of the Gamma Main geological structure, proven in 1986) is developed and Tune field is scheduled to start producing next fall.

Norsk Sydro said since starting operation in 1988, the Oseberg region has produced nearly 2 billion bbl. "Recovery estimates continue to climb. There are still more than 1 billion bbl of producible oil remaining," it said.

The Oseberg area, about 130 km northwest of Bergen, comprises several oil and gas fields, including the Oseberg Unit, Oseberg Sør, Oseberg Øst, Brage and Tune.

Norsk Hydro is operator of the Oseberg Unit with a 22.23% interest. TotalFinaElf Exploration Norge AS has 8.66%, ExxonMobil Corp. 4.33%, Statoil 14%, and Petoro (holding the former state direct financial interest) 50.78%.

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