Statoil Makes Discovery in Barents Sea

Statoil has found oil and gas in production license 202 in the North Cape Basin, approximately 81 miles north east of Norway's North Cape.

The exploration well was drilled in a structure close to a salt diapir, a model not previously explored in the Barents Sea. In 945 feet of water, the well was drilled to a total depth of 9,265 feet below sea level. The find was proven in Triassic sandstone. However, it is still too early to speculate on the amount of recoverable hydrocarbons.

Transocean Sedco Forex's semisubmersible, Transocean Arctic, has taken about 100 core samples and extensive logging of the well has been carried out. Further tests are continuing and the data collected will be analyzed to determine the size of the find. Statoil is assessing whether appraisal wells should be drilled.

Statoil is the operator and has a 25 percent interest in the license. The other licensees are the state's direct financial interest (SDFI) with 30 percent, Amerada Hess with 25 percent and Norsk Hydro with 20 percent.