Well 15/3-8 will verify whether there are sufficient volumes of hydrocarbons to warrant developing the Gudrun find, says Lars Jan Jaarvik, exploration manager for the Troll/Sleipner area.
Gudrun is located about 50 kilometers north of the Sleipner area and 13 kilometers east of the boundary between the UK and Norwegian continental shelf.
"If Gudrun contains large volumes of oil, one development alternative could be to tie the find back to the Sleipner fields," says Mr Jaarvik.
For Statoil, it is important to extend the lifetime of fields in mature areas in the North Sea by improving recovery, or developing finds that could contain substantial volumes of gas and oil.
The Gudrun well has a high temperature and high pressure.
It is to be drilled to a reservoir depth of 4,800 meters, and drilling is expected to take four months. The well will be drilled by Transocean's semisub, Transocean Leader.
Gudrun was found following exploration drilling in 1975, when oil, gas and condensate were proven. In the summer of 2001, an exploration and appraisal well was drilled in the eastern part of the structure.
Statoil has a 46.8 percent share in production licence 025 (Gudrun), Marathon has 28.2 percent, and BP and Gaz de France have 12.5 percent each.
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