StatoilHydro has confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons in an exploration well in the Caurus prospect in the Barents Sea, 160 kilometers north-northwest of Hammerfest in North Norway.
Hydrocarbons were confirmed in sandstone of middle and late Triassic age. The well was not formation tested, but comprehensive data gathering and sampling have been carried out.
The late Triassic find is made in rocks of good quality and is in the size of 2-14 billion standard cubic meters of recoverable gas.
"It is of course promising that we once more have proven gas in the Barents Sea," says Geir Richardsen, head of exploration activities in the far north. "The middle Triassic find is made in rocks of poor quality however, and we need time to make an evaluation and analysis to understand the volume and size of the find."
The well was drilled in block 7222/11 in production license 228. The purpose of the well was to confirm hydrocarbons in sandstone of middle and late Triassic age.
The drilling in Caurus was carried out by the Polar Pioneer semisub at a water depth of 356 meters. Polar Pioneer will now start drilling appraisal well 7125/4-2 in the StatoilHydro-operated production license 393.
Exploration well7222/11-1 S was drilled to a total depth of 2,825 meters below sea level and was concluded in rocks of early Triassic age. The well is now being temporarily plugged and abandoned.
Production license 228 was awarded in the Barents Sea project in 1997, when Saga Petroleum ASA was operator. Well 7222/11-1 (Caurus) is the second exploration well in the license.
The first exploration well, 7222/6-1, was drilled in January-February 2008 and confirmed hydrocarbons in the Obesum structure in the far northern part of the license. Another exploration well in the license has been scheduled, which will be a delineation of the Obesum discovery scheduled for start-up in December 2008.
StatoilHydro is the sole licensee in the field.
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