Shell Makes Significant Gas Discovery in the Norwegian Sea

Shell has made a significant discovery of gas in sandstones of Jurassic age in the Onyx South West prospect in Block 6406/9 of Production License (PL) 255 in the Norwegian Sea offshore mid-Norway.

The well was drilled to a total depth of 5,052 meters below sea level, in 308 meters of water, using the Transocean's semisub, Transocean Leader. A comprehensive logging, sampling and testing program has now been completed. Two zones were tested, each flowed at a maximum rate of about 1.4 million cubic meters per day.

Rien Herber, Exploration Director of Shell Exploration & Production in Europe said: "We drilled Onyx South West as one of our global "Big Cat" prospects. Information from core, fluid sample and production test data indicates the presence of a substantial gas column, which is very encouraging and there are indications that we are dealing with a significant find. We intend to follow up this discovery with an accelerated program of appraisal and exploration in 2006. Our strategy is to add more integrated gas to our portfolio and the Norwegian Sea is an important area of focus for our exploration efforts in Europe."

Thorhild Widvey, Norway's Minister of Petroleum and Energy, said: "The new discovery in the Norwegian Sea is very encouraging and proves that the Norwegian continental shelf has great potential for new and significant finds. This could be an important discovery, and will lead to renewed interest in the area."

Shell holds a 30 percent shareholding in PL255 and is the operator of the block. PL255 was awarded in the 16th Norwegian licensing round in 2000. Shell's partners in this license are Petoro (30 percent), Statoil (20 percent) and Total (20 percent)."

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