Statoil Makes Uncommercial Gas Find In Arctic


OSLO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Energy firm Statoil has made a disappointing gas find in the Arctic, continuing an unsuccessful run of exploration drilling in the Norwegian part of the region, an area Statoil has called an "exploration hot spot" with high potential.

The company said it found between 5 billion and 20 billion standard cubic metres of gas or 30 million to 120 million barrels of oil recoverable equivalent at the Pingvin prospect, a discovery it assessed as non-commercial.

"For a discovery in this area to be commercially viable it needs to be an oil accumulation of a significant size," Statoil said in a statement. "This gas discovery does not have commercial value at present."

The find is another disappointment for Statoil, which has so far failed to find any oil during its latest summer campaign in the region.

Oil firms are drilling aggressively in the Norwegian Arctic this year but most wells have disappointed so far, dampening interest in the region as its lack of infrastructure and remote, harsh environment make any development more expensive than in mature areas such as the North Sea.

"Although the reservoir quality is good, we believe the volumes are too small to be commercial," Teodor Sveen Nilsen, an analyst at Swedbank, wrote in a note to clients.

Statoil owns 40 percent of the licence, while RN Nordic Oil, North Energy and Edison each hold 20 percent.

Shares in Statoil were up 0.35 percent at 0807 GMT, slightly ahead of the European oil and gas index, down 0.27 percent.

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi and Gwladys Fouche; editing by Keiron Henderson)


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