Norsk Hydro Spuds Well on Stetind Prospect

Hydro has commenced exploration drilling on the Stetind prospect in the Norwegian Sea. The exploration well, which is being drilled by the Transocean Leader, is located 300 kilometers west of Sandnessjøen, Norway. The well was spudded on June 14th.

Exploration well Stetind (PL283) is in Block 6605/8, and was awarded Hydro in the 17th licensing concession round during the summer 2002.

The well has been ready to drill for a year, but the drilling operation was delayed because Transocean Leader was involved in a rig conflict in 2004 and the subsequent drilling by Shell on Haltenbanken took longer than expected.

Hydro's Norwegian Sea exploration manager, Odd Ragnar Heum, estimates that the drilling on Stetind will take 81 days.

Can open new province
"Stetind is located in a new province in the Norwegian Sea. It lies more than 80 kilometers away from the closest well control point. Therefore there's little concrete data on the area. There is always a lot of excitement about what these kinds of wells turn up," says Heum.

Stetind is at 800 meters sea depth, some 300 kilometers west of Sandnessjøen, Norway.

"We expect to find gas, but we can't rule out that it also holds oil. One reason for possible oil reserves is Statoil's oil find on Ellida, located in deep water in the Norwegian Sea north of Ormen Lange," says Heum.

The supply base for the well is Sandnessjøen. Helicopter transport is from Brønnøysund.

Participants in Stetind are Norsk Hydro as operator with 30%; Chevron with 25%; ConocoPhillps with 25% and Petoro with 20%.

About the name Stetind
The Stetind well is named after Stetind Mountain (1,392 m above sea level.), which was designated Norway's national mountain in 2002. The fabled "anvil" shaped peak, that raises from Stefjorden in Tysfjord municipality in Nordland County, can be seen from at least seven parishes. The mountain has traditionally served as a reference point for sailing ships along the Nordland coastline. Stetind was first climbed on 30 July, 1910, by F. Schelderup, A. Bryn and C.W. Rubenson.

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