Statoil Spuds Wildcat on Verdandi Prospect

The first exploration well on Statoil's Verdandi prospect in block 16/1 of the North Sea was spudded May 22nd. The block lies about 25 kilometers southwest of Norsk Hydro's Grane field.

"We are primarily looking for oil in this well," says Øivind Dahl-Stamnes, sector manager in the exploration Norway business cluster. He adds that there is much uncertainty about the possibility for a discovery in Verdandi, as is always the case in new prospects. The drilling operation is being performed by Dolphin Drilling's semisub, Borgland Dolphin, and is expected to take one month.

s operator, Statoil is carrying out the drilling on behalf of license 167. The licensees are Det norske oljeselskap (20 percent) and Statoil (80 percent). The block was awarded in the 13th licensing round in 1991.