Statoil was operator for three oil, one gas and one oil/gas discoveries in the Tampen area of the North Sea, and an oil find in the Norwegian Sea.
Taking account of sidetracks, which are not included in the NPD statistics, the group made discoveries in 10 of its 15 wells. This gives a discovery rate of 67 percent. "We still have faith in the NCS, although expectations for the deepwater parts of the Norwegian Sea have been downgraded somewhat in the wake of drilling results for 2002," says Mr Fjaeran.
He hopes that new offshore license awards this year and next will help to boost exploration activity and yield more larger discoveries. "We're also awaiting the outcome of the environmental impact assessment for year-round petroleum operations in far northern waters being carried out for the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. "We hope and believe that this study will provide the basis for reopening the NCS northwards from the Lofoten islands."
The exploration drilling program on the NCS in 2003 is expected to total 15 wells.
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