Amerada Hess Receives Approval to Drill Offshore Faroes Islands

Amerada Hess has received formal approval from the North Atlantic Faroe Islands Petroleum Ministry to drill its first exploration well on the Faroe Shelf.

Amerada Hess is the operator for the Faroese Partnership which also comprises BG, DONG and Atlantic Petroleum. The partnership holds license no. 001 which covers an area to the south of the Faroe Islands on the UK boundary. Amerada Hess has contracted the Sovereign Explorer rig to drill the new well, a project expected to start within the next few days after the completion of the plugging of a well for Statoil in the Longan Prospect to the southeast of the islands.

Statoil's oil tests on the Longan well earlier this year proved dry, although traces of hydrocarbons were detected. The new well, which is expected to take two to three months to test drill, will be the last to be drilled on the Faroe Shelf during 2001.

In the first licensing round on the Faroe Shelf, which was launched in February last year, the Faroese Ministry of Petroleum received 22 licence applications from 17 oil companies. In August 2000, the ministry awarded seven offshore exploration licences to 12 oil companies.