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North Energy Teams Up with Rex for 'Virtual Drilling' System

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Norway-focused North Energy announced Wednesday that it is teaming up with technology firm Rex Oil & Gas to use Rex's 'Virtual Drilling' exploration system for identifying and locating oil prospects.

Virtual Drilling – which has not been used on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) before –exploits the way different fluids resonate in different frequencies in seismic data. This allows it to distinguish between water-bearing structures and oil. North said it has conducted a number of blind tests with it on historical wells over the past 12 months, which yielded very good results.

North Energy Chief Executive Erik Karlstrøm commented in a company statement:

"The technology does not replace any of the tools we are using today, but helps to develop more oil prospects with current exploration tools.

"We will then make use of resonance technology as a final filter, then select the most promising prospects out of a wider range than today. This process will require more geologists and geophysicists as well as more seismic. A search for a partner in seismic is therefore a natural step further in this process."

North reported that it has expanded its NCS drilling program by one well, with appraisal drilling imminent on its Norvarg target. This is due to be drilling by the Leiv Eiriksson rig in March. Plans are also being drawn up for a well on the Frode oil prospect in the PL 299 license on the Halten Bank in the Norwegian Sea.

Meanwhile, the firm said that it had completed the reduction of its 100-percent holding in production license 510. Maersk Oil Norway is now the operator of the license with a 50-percent holding, while North retains a 20-percent stake.

North said it made a net loss of NOK 59.6 million during the fourth quarter, which it attributed to increased exploration and license costs as well as extensive work in connection with Norway's 22nd licensing round.



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