Statoil reported Wednesday it has discovered light, high-quality oil in the Harpoon prospect in the Flemish Pass Basin offshore Newfoundland and Labrador in eastern Canada.
The company drilled the well in exploration license 1112 using the West Aquarius (UDW semisub) in approximately 3,608 feet (1,100 meters) of water.
While it's still too early to estimate Harpoon's resource potential, the results are very encouraging for the area, particularly the Bay du Nord well Statoil plans to drill later this year, said Erik Finnstrom, senior vice president for Exploration North America at Statoil, in a statement.
"We anticipate there will be further appraisal drilling to mature this discovery in the future," Finnstrom noted, adding that Statoil will continue to build the area as one of the company's core exploration regions.
Harpoon is located approximately 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) southeast of Statoil's Mizzen discovery. Mizzen is estimated to contain between 100 and 200 million barrels of oil.
Statoil operates Harpoon with a 65-percent interest. Husky Energy is partner with 35 percent.
The company currently is drilling the Federation prospect in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin offshore eastern Canada as part of its three-well exploration program planned offshore Newfoundland this year.
Bay du Nord is one of several Statoil wells to watch in 2013, said Tim Dodson, EVP of exploration for Statoil, in a presentation last month. Bay du Nord could potentially be co-developed with the Mizzen discovery. Other wells include Statoil's Barents Sea campaign, the Sake well in the Gulf of Mexico and Cachalote & Buzio offshore Mozambique.
Statoil plans to drill approximately 50 exploration wells worldwide in 2013, and approximately 20 high impact wells between 2013 and 2015. Several of these planned wells will open plays new to Statoil, including acreage in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Australia and Brazil.
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