Skuld Comes Up Dry

Statoil has completed an exploration well in the Skuld prospect in production license 265 in the North Sea without finding oil or gas.

Production license 265 with blocks 16/2 and 16/3 was awarded to Statoil and the partners in last year's North Sea licensing round. The blocks lie directly south of the Balder and Grane fields, which are operated by ExxonMobil and Norsk Hydro respectively.

The purpose of well 16/2-2 was to test the hydrocarbon potential of the Tertiary rocks in the Skuld prospect. The well was drilled to a depth of 1855 metres below sea level with the drilling rig Byford Dolphin. Water depth in the area is 120 meters.

Morten Sola, acting sector manager for the North Sea, reports that the licensees in license 265 are committed to drilling two wells. The results from the first well will be evaluated before it is decided where to locate the next, he says.

One well has been drilled earlier in block 16/2 – in 1967 in production license 001. Exxon was operator at the time, and traces of hydrocarbons were found.

Statoil has a 30 percent stake in the production license. The state's direct financial interest has 30 percent, ExxonMobil has 25 per cent and Enterprise Oil has 15 percent.