StatoilHydro finds gas on Asterix prospect

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 18 -- StatoilHydro has made a natural gas discovery on its Asterix prospect, which lies in 1,360 m of water 345 km west of Sandnessjoen in the Norwegian Sea. The resources are located in Upper Cretaceous reservoir rocks, the company said, adding that preliminary estimates put proved reserves at 16 billion cu m (about 100 million boe).

The Transocean Leader semisubmersible rig drilled wildcat well 6705/10-1 to a vertical depth of 3,775 m below sea level. The well is the first in production license 327B, awarded in 2007. Licensees are operator StatoilHydro 70%, Petoro 20%, and Norske Shell 10%.

No formation test was carried out, the company said, but extensive data gathering and coring took place in the reservoir before well 6705/10-1 was permanently plugged and abandoned.

The find represents "one of the bigger discoveries off Norway in recent years," said Tove Stuhr Sjoblom, StatoilHydro's head of Norwegian exploration.

Frode Fasteland, exploration manager for the Norwegian Sea, said, "Asterix will be considered for development together with Luva and the other nearby discoveries of Haklang and Snefrid South. That could help to lay the basis for a deepwater gas infrastructure in the Norwegian Sea." Asterix is 80 km west of Luva (OGJ, Apr. 3, 2006, p. 33).

StatoilHydro will now redeploy the Transocean Leader to production license 035B/362 in the North Sea to drill a delineation well on the Fulla structure.

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