Statoil finds gas with Midnattsol well off Norway

Statoil ASA made a deepwater natural gas discovery with its 6405/10-1 exploration well in the Midnattsol 281 production license in the Norwegian Sea.

Aug 29th, 2007

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 29 -- Statoil ASA made a deepwater natural gas discovery with its 6405/10-1 exploration well in the Midnattsol 281 production license in the Norwegian Sea. The find lies 40 km north of Ormen Lange field and 30 km south of the Ellida discovery. It is too early to declare the find commercial, Statoil said.

The company plans to drill an additional five exploration wells in the deepwater area in 2008. Three of these it will operate, said Frode Fasteland, acting head of exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf.

The Midnattsol well was drilled to a TD of 3,158 m subsea in 928 m of water by Transocean Inc.'s Transocean Leader semisubmersible. The well found gas in a late Cretaceous reservoir.

Core samples have been taken and an extremely thorough data acquisition program carried out, Statoil said. The collected data will be analyzed to delineate and define the discovery.

Midnattsol will be permanently plugged and abandoned. And the drilling rig will now be taken over by Eni SPA.

The licensees in PL 281, Blocks 6405/4, 7, and 10 are operator Statoil 50%, E.On Ruhrgas 20%, Petoro SA 20%, and CononoPhillips 10%.

Statoil's interest in PL 281 was recently increased when it acquired Royal Dutch Shell PLC's 20% interest (OGJ Online, Apr. 27, 2007).

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