Statoil Resumes Drilling in Venezuela

Statoil has spudded the Cocuina-2X well in block 4 of the Plataforma Deltana area off the coast of Venezuela.

"We'll use our activity in these waters as a means of sharing our broad experience of offshore operations and promoting expertise transfer," says Thore E Kristiansen, president of Statoil Venezuela.

He emphasizes that the well will be drilled to the highest standards of health, safety and the environment. More than 500 locals are employed in this phase of Statoil's Plataforma Deltana project.

Drilling is being carried out from Transocean's Sovereign Explorer rig, which has been upgraded over the past three months with a view to resuming the Cocuina-2X operation.

"We're optimistic and hoping for discoveries which can provide the basis for developing a new field," says Mr. Kristiansen.

Statoil's partners in block 4, which was awarded in February 2003, are Total and Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA).

The group has been present in this Latin American country for 11 years. In addition to Plataforma Deltana, it participates in the Sincor heavy oil project again with PdVSA and Total. Involving the production, upgrading and commercialization of heavy oil, Sincor is the most successful development of its kind in the Orinoco Belt region.

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