Statoil starts Norwegian North Sea drilling

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Dec. 28 -- Statoil ASA has begun drilling exploration well 16/4-4 on the Biotitt prospect in the Norwegian North Sea using Seadrill Ltd.'s West Epsilon ultralarge jack up, which initially will drill four North Sea exploration wells.

Statoil plans for the 16/4-4 well to reach a TD of 2,400 m in 91 m of water. Exploration drilling is expected to take 40 days with the aim of proving gas-condensate that can be produced by the Sleipner A platform, Statoil said.

The Biotitt prospect is in the southwest area of Block 16/4 on Production License 339, awarded in 2004. The prospect lies northeast of Sleipner West field. Statoil is operator, holding a 70% stake, while ExxonMobil Corp. has 30%.

Following Biotitt drilling, the rig will drill the second well on the Ermintrude prospect on Block 15/6 in PL 303 in the southern North Sea, awarded in 2003. Statoil will drill its third well in the Ragnarrock structure on PL 265, awarded in 2001. West Epsilon also will drill in the cellar under the Statoil-operated Huldra field on PL 051.

Statoil said West Epsilon's activity is important to achieve the company's production goal of 1 million boe on the Norwegian continental shelf by 2015.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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