Statoil Spuds Wildcat on Blameis Prospect

The first exploration well on Statoil's Blameis prospect in the Norwegian Sea was spudded on November 26th by Stena Don, and is expected to take about a month to complete.

This structure is thought to contain oil, reports Knut Chr Grindstad, exploration vice president for the Halten/Nordland cluster in the north Norwegian port of Harstad. Blameis is close to the group's existing Norne field, in an area where Statoil has already found oil in a series of structures named after birds – Staer (Starling), Falk (Falcon) and Svale (Swallow).

None of these discoveries is large enough to support a stand-alone development. Statoil is accordingly considering various options, which include coming up with technology that could make it easier to tie back small finds to Norne's production ship. Developing these discoveries as a cluster will also improve their economics. The Norne vessel is due to go off plateau in 2003, and needs additional oil to maintain production levels. Great expectations are attached to the Blameis wildcat. Mr. Grindstad says that a possible oil discovery could also be tied back to Norne. Should the most optimistic hopes be borne out by the well, however, the field could become a stand-alone development.

Possible Blameis oil is expected to be heavier than Norne crude, but this will not be known until drilling has been completed and its results analyzed. Plans call for the well to be drilled to a depth of about 2,000 meters.