ExxonMobil, Det Norske Spud Jetta in North Sea

Det norske has started drilling the Jetta Prospect in Production License 27D, south of Jotun. ExxonMobil is Operator for the license.

"Det norske has long looked forward to starting drilling on Jetta," said V.P. Geology Sigmund Hanslien. Provided that discoveries are made, Jetta can potentially be developed quite quickly since it lies close to existing infrastructure on Jotun. Det norske holds an 50 percent interest in Jetta.Det norske has an extensive drilling program, and is currently drilling three exploration wells.

Over a period of time, Det norske has bought up interests in Jetta, a prospect extending across three licenses, and the company's interests in the prospect now amount to around 50% (47% in PL 027D, 58.5% in PL 504 and 57% in PL 196C). Through an agreement with ExxonMobil, Det norske increased its interest in PL027D to 47% this summer, in return for carrying the costs of ExxonMobil's 13% interest relating to the Jetta well.

Vidar B. Larsen, head of business development, took a very positive view of the increase in Det norske's interests in the license.

"We have great expectations for this prospect in terms of making discoveries that can be rapidly put into production. We successfully adopted the same approach just before the Grevling discovery was made. We will have an answer to whether this approach proves equally successful in the present case in a matter of weeks," Larsen said.

The Jetta Prospect will be drilled using Bredford Dolphin with Det norske as drilling operator.

Prolonged process

Sigmung Hanslien is Det norske's chief geologist. For a long time now, he has been working on Jetta, where the exploration model is of the same type as for the Jotun Field. He tells us that this prospect is an example of how a good understanding of the geology can be combined with new technology to yield new and interesting opportunities, even in areas that have been explored for more than 40 years.

"We expect to find oil in the Paleocene sandstone approximately two kilometers below the seabed; thanks to modern 3D seismic shooting, we believe that we can actually 'see' the oil. This is an area in which important discoveries have been made before, including Balder, Jotun, Ringhorne and Grane," said Hanslien.

If a discovery is made, Jetta can be quickly put into production since it can be tied in with existing infrastructure. A discovery can contribute to extending the economic life of the installations in the area, and hence increase total recovery from existing fields as well. If successful on Jetta, Det norske will be able to considerably increase its oil production from today's rather modest level in the course of two or three years.

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