The Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) adopted by the Norwegian parliament in March 2002 prepared for development of the gas resources in Snohvit only.
Further field development studies will show whether Snohvit oil production is commercial, and if so, what development solution to choose.
"The studies are based on new knowledge after the gas wells were drilled in Snohvit, and expectations for a higher long-term oil price," says Geir Pettersen, manager of the Troms° Patch business cluster, which includes Sn°hvit operations.
The Snohvit oil zone is just some 14 meters thick. Studies performed prior to the approval of the gas development plans in 2002 concluded that production of the oil zone would not be profitable.
The partners will start planning a possible appraisal well for better identification of the oil zone in Snohvit.
"An appraisal well will give us further information about recoverable oil reserves in the field," Mr Pettersen says.
The drilling of the appraisal well may take place in the first quarter of 2007. A final decision will be made by the end of 2006.
The Snohvit licensees are Statoil (33.53%), Petoro (30.00), Total E&P Norge (18.40), Gaz de France (12.00), Amerada Hess Norge (3.26) and RWE Dea Norge (2.81).
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