Statoil Enjoys Success in the 17th Norwegian Licensing Rounds

Awards made to Statoil under Norway's 17th offshore licensing round are in line with the group's targets for these Norwegian Sea allocations.

The group has been offered the operatorship and 30 percent of production license 281, which covers deepwater blocks 6405/4, 6405/7 and 6405/10 on the Grip Ridge north of the Ormen Lange discovery. These blocks have a water depth of between 700 and 900 meters. In addition, Statoil stands to receive a 20 percent interest in PL 282, a "seismic option" with Shell as operator covering deepwater blocks 6504/6, 6505/1, 6505/2, 6505/4 and 6505/5.

"We've got what we wanted," says Kent Hogseth, Statoil's project manager for the 17th round. "Good team work has paid off with the most attractive acreage. "A deepwater operatorship is very important for us in this round because it could provide valuable experience with such developments – providing we find anything." He characterizes the PL 281 structure as promising, and expects that the group can spud its first well there next year.

Shell, Statoil's partner in applying for this license, has received 20 percent in license 281. BP was offered 20 percent, Phillips gets 10 percent, while Petoro gets 20 percent.

In PL 282, which does not involve any drilling commitment, Shell is being offered 30 percent, Norsk Hydro 25 percent and RWE-DEA 25 percent. These blocks have a water depth of about 1,000 meters.