Statoil discovers dry gas off eastern Venezuela

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Dec. 29 -- Statoil ASA has found dry gas within three intervals drilled in its Cocuina-2X exploration well on Block 4 of Plataforma Deltana, off eastern Venezuela (OGJ, Sept. 4, 2006, Newsletter).

The well, 240 km from the Orinoco Delta, was drilled to 3,406 m TD. "The true potential of Block 4 cannot be confirmed until the whole exploration program has been completed," Statoil said.

Transocean Inc.'s Sovereign Explorer semisubmersible will now proceed to the next well location, Ballena-1X, to drill in 350 m of water. No well has ever been drilled in deeper water off Venezuela to date, according to Statoil.

The Venezuelan government awarded the Plataforma Deltana Block 4 license to Statoil in 2003. Statoil is operator with a 51% share, and Total SA holds 49%. PDVSA Gas has the option to participate up to 35% once a commercial discovery has been declared.

Statoil is a partner, together with PDVSA and Total, in the extraheavy Sincor oil project in the Orinoco Belt.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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