Statoil Strikes Additional Hydrocarbons in Sleipner Area

Statoil Petroleum AS, operator of the Sleipner West field in production licenses 029 and 046, has concluded the drilling of a development well (Beta West prospect) with an exploration target. Well 15/9-B-1 was drilled about 1.5 km west of the Sleipner West field and 4 km from the Sleipner B platform in the central part of the North Sea.

The objective of the well was to prove petroleum in Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Hugin formation), as well as to place relevant volumes in production via the production facility on the Sleipner B platform. The well encountered gas-condensate in the Hugin formation. Preliminary estimates indicate the size of the discovery at between six and ten million standard cubic meters (Sm3) of recoverable oil equivalents. The well was not formation-tested, but data acquisition and sampling have been carried out. The licensees will produce the discovery via the Sleipner West field.

"This discovery strengthens our prospects for finding more resources in the immediate vicinity of Sleipner West," said Tom Dreyer, head of infrastructure-led exploration in the North Sea.

Edvin B Ytredal, Statoil's operations vice president for the Sleipner area, is very satisfied both with the discovery and with the opportunities it represents for Sleipner West.

"Production from this field is coming of plateau, but the newly discovered resources mean that its future prospects are substantially brighter," he said.

Located in 108 meters of water, the well was drilled from the West Epsilon rig, which is connected to the Sleipner B platform, to a vertical depth of 3,760 meters beneath sea level. The well will now be readied for production.

Production license 029 was awarded in the 2nd licensing round in 1969, and production license 046 was awarded in the 3rd licensing round in 1976.

West Epsilon will now drill a new development well, 15/9-B-2, on the field.