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New Oil & Gas Discovery in the Johan Castberg Area

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 12/9/2013, Location: Europe

Statoil ASA has together with its partners Eni Norge AS and Petoro AS made an oil and gas discovery in the Skavl prospect in PL532, close to Johan Castberg in the Barents Sea.

Well 7220/7-2 S, drilled by the rig West Hercules, has proven a 22 metre gas column and a 23 m oil column in the Jurassic Tubaen formation, and a 133 metre oil column in the Triassic Fruholmen formation. Statoil estimates the volumes in Skavl to be in the range of 20 - 50 million barrels of recoverable oil.

"Statoil puts a lot of effort into proving additional oil resources in the Johan Castberg area in order to make the field development project more robust. We are pleased to see that our efforts now pay off", says Gro G. Haatvedt, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf.

"Skavl was the third of the four wells in the Johan Castberg area we have on our drilling plan this year. The first two wells, Nunatak and Iskrystall, proved only gas, but we know from experience that it takes stamina and persistence to succeed in the Barents Sea", says Haatvedt. "It is also encouraging that we have confirmed a new play model in the area with the oil discovery in the Fruholmen formation, something which will be followed up in future exploration," Haatvedt continues.

Statoil will continue to explore for oil resources in the Johan Castberg area. After completion of Skavl, the drilling rig will move 16 km north to drill the Kramsno prospect which is the last of the four prospects scheduled to be tested in 2013. The exploration effort around Johan Castberg will continue also in 2014.

"We are working closely with our license partners to establish a plan for further exploration drilling in the Johan Castberg area. The Drivis prospect has already been approved for drilling in 2014, and we are currently evaluating additional opportunities", says Haatvedt.

"It is positive that we have proven additional resources in the Johan Castberg area. We will now consider whether the discovery can be included in the Johan Castberg field development. At the same time we are pursuing our effort of maturing the resource base and the field development plans for the project. Changes in the tax framework is one of the elements that has made the project more challenging," says Erik Strand Tellefsen, Statoil's vice president for field development in Northern Norway.

Statoil is operator for production licence PL532 with an ownership share of 50%. The licence partners are Eni Norge AS (30%) and Petoro AS (20%).

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