An appraisal well at Snohvit must be drilled by the summer of 2007 if potential oil production is to begin before the field's gas pressure becomes too low.
The appraisal well will provide further data on Snohvit's recoverable oil reserves and better map gas reserves in the western part of the field's structure.
"We desire a justifiable resource management of Snohvit," says Geir Pettersen, Statoil's senior vice president for the Tromso Patch business cluster.
"A closer mapping of the field's reserves can give us a basis for continuing our studies towards a possible realization of the oil project."
The partners will assess whether to continue with the project when the results from the appraisal well are ready.
The benefits associated with a potential unitization with the Goliat oil find development, where Eni is operator, are among the options under consideration. A unitization with Goliat was studied earlier with a negative result.
Drilling of the appraisal well is dependent on available rig capacity in the area.
Statoil is operator for development and operation of Snohvit with a 33.53% share. The other partners are Petoro (30.00%), Total E&P (18.40%), Gaz de France (12.00%), Amerada Hess Norge (3.26%) and RWE Dea Norge (2.81%).
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