At the beginning of December, StatoilHydro completed an agreement with Chevron to take over three heavy oil licenses on the British continental shelf (UKCS). This is the first-ever operatorship for the group in this area.
The transfer from Chevron to StatoilHydro will be completed during December, and license responsibility for the projects will be transferred on Jan. 1, 2008. Apart from technical studies, seismic will be shot, sub-surface surveys will be carried out and up to three wells will be drilled over the next two years.
The agreement makes StatoilHydro operator for the heavy oil fields, Bressay, Mariner and Mariner East. In addition, a separate agreement has been concluded with the Canadian companies Silverstone and Wilderness on a discovery in block 9/16. StatoilHydro will thereby have responsibility for about half of the proven, but undeveloped, heavy oil volumes on the UKCS.
The working program that has now been adopted assumes that development will be sanctioned in 2010.
StatoilHydro's present interests in the UK comprise oil and gas production in six fields with an output of 13,000 barrels per day. In addition, StatoilHydro has assets in several exploration licenses and finds, such as Rosebank, Amos and Suilven. Up to now, the whole portfolio in the UK has been partner-operated.
Helge Hatlestad, vice president for StatoilHydro's activities in the UK, says that the good results StatoilHydro has achieved in connection with the acquisition and development of the Peregrino field in Brazil have led to this agreement. The recovery factor there has risen considerably from 2005 to 2007.
"The development of these heavy crude resources in the UK is now dependent on StatoilHydro succeeding in finding feasible technical and commercial solutions," said Hatlestad.
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