Statoil Spuds Well Off Venezuela

The first wildcat to be drilled by operator Statoil in block 4, part of the Plataforma Deltana area of the Venezuelan continental shelf, was spudded on January 1st from Transocean's Sovereign Explorer.

This Ballena 1-X well is the first of three which the group is committed to drilling in this region off the east coast of the Latin American country.

If it proves successful, Statoil is considering drilling one to three appraisal wells before a possible field could be declared commercial.

The group is the sole licensee for block 4, which was awarded in February 2003 and covers about 1,435 square kilometers with water depths of 200-800 meters.

Statoil is also a partner in two other Venezuelan production licenses, holding 15 per cent of the land-based Sincor heavy crude project in the Orinoco Belt and 27 per cent of the LL 652 oil field in Lake Maracaibo.