StatoilHydro's Gulf of Mexico Output Doubles

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), Jul. 9, 2009

Norway's StatoilHydro ASA Thursday said it has more than doubled its output from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in the past few months, as the Thunder Hawk field comes onstream.

Murphy Oil-operated Thunder Hawk has a daily production capacity of 45,000 barrels of oil and 70 million cubic feet of natural gas.

StatoilHydro company spokeswoman Mari Dotterud said StatoilHydro will have 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day net from the U.S. Gulf Of Mexico once Thunder Hawk is at full capacity. That includes output from Tahiti which started up in May, and some other small production. "We are the third biggest lease holder in the the region," she added.

StatoilHydro's head of upstream operations in the U.S. and Mexico Oeivind Reinertsen said: "We are moving into a new phase in the Gulf, with substantial production and operated drilling scheduled for this autumn." He added that the startup of Thunder Hawk shows StatoilHydro "used sound judgment" in entering that lease area couple of years ago. The company started up in the Gulf in 2002.

The company has 448 active leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, or GoM, according to information on its Web site. Notable prospects include Front Runner, Big Foot, Jack and St. Malo.

Thunder Hawk will produce from three subsea wells in water depths of more than 1,700 meters. It's located in Mississippi Canyon block 734.

Dotterud said the company is interested in moving into the Mexican Gulf too but noted: "The Mexican area of the GOM has been off bounds for IOCs [International Oil Companies]. So far there are no concrete plans for SH there...[but we] believe the technical experience we have gained to date in the U.S. GoM could be valuable if we get some share of activities there in future."

Operator Murphy Oil holds 37.5% in the field, StatoilHydro 25%, Eni SpA 25% and Marubeni Oil and Gas Inc 12.5%.  

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.