Statoil Makes Discovery Near Gullfaks

A well drilled from Statoil's Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea has discovered oil in the Topas prospect, which lies between Gullfaks and Visund.

"This strike is important for exploiting existing installations and other infrastructure," says Bengt Beskow, exploration manager for the Tampen area.

"It also shows that more oil is available in a mature region. We're committing substantial resources to exploring around the major fields we operate."

Statoil is considering a request to the Norwegian authorities for approval of pilot production from Gullfaks to secure important information about the size and commercial value of the discovery.

Topas lies about three kilometers north-east of Gullfaks and roughly five kilometers south of Visund.

Designated 34/10-48S, the wildcat was drilled to a total measured length of 7,393 meters and a depth of 2,849 meters beneath the sea surface. The water depth is 217 meters.

The well terminated in Middle Jurassic rocks, with oil proven in Middle Jurassic and Upper Triassic sands.

Extensive logging was carried out in the well during the 102-day drilling operation, along with gathering of cores and mud samples.

Statoil operates production license 120, embracing Visund, and has a 30.07 per cent interest. Its partners are Norsk Hydro (29 per cent), Petoro (16.93), Total (11) and ConocoPhillips (13).

The group is also operator for Gullfaks license PL 050, where it has 61 percent while Hydro holds nine percent and Petoro 30 percent.