Norsk Hydro Comes Up Dry on Solsikke Well

Norsk Hydro has finished drilling its Solsikke well in the Norwegian Sea without finding hydrocarbons. Solsikke lies on license 253 in the Norwegian Sea some 200 kilometers off the north-west coast of Norway at a sea depth of about 1,800 meters. Exploration well 6403/10-1 was drilled by the rig "Scarabeo 5" to test out a geological model in the western part of the More Basin. The well was drilled as planned to a total depth of 3,400 meters into a section of rock from the Cretaceous Age.

"The drilling operation's two targeted main reservoir intervals were both penetrated. No mobile hydrocarbons were proven in the well," the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said in press release on Wednesday.

When total depth is reached, the exploration well will be permanently plugged and abandoned.

"Not as we had hoped"

"This is the last prospect tested from concession round 16, and like other exploration wells drilled from this round, no hydrocarbons were found," affirmed Torstein Dale Sjotveit, director of Hydro's Exploration and Development Norway sector within Hydro Oil & Energy. "The result is not as we'd hoped, but in the oil and gas drilling profession one has to be patient," he remarked.

Of the eight large prospects drilled in the Norwegian Sea, only Ormen Lange has been successful. Hydro discovered Ormen Lange, Norway's second-largest gas field, in 1997. It will start production in 2007.

"We searched for more gas on Solsikke, but without luck," said Sjotveit.

Shareholders in License 253 are: Norsk Hydro Production AS (operator) - 50 percent; RWDEA AS - 30 percent; and Petoro - 20 percent.

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