1000th Well To Be Drilled in the Norwegian Sector of the North Sea

Dolphin Drilling's semisubmersible, Borgland Dolphin, has begun drilling the 1000th exploration well on the Norwegian continental shelf for Statoil. Appraisal well 6608/10-7 will be drilled on the Svale field near Norne in the Norwegian Sea.in production licence 128. Drilling is scheduled to take approximately 55 days.

The objective is to survey the chemical composition in the water zone and confirm the reserves in the Svale field. In order to clarify this, it is necessary to drill quite deep into the reservoir, towards the areas where the oil comes into contact with water. After the results of the drilling have been analysized, a plan for development and operation could be submitted as early as the end of this year. The plan is to develop the deposits as a satellite linked to the production vessel on the Norne field. Production could start towards the end of 2003, provided that the authorities give their approval.

Statoil has a 40 percent share in production licence 128. The other licensees are the state's direct financial interest with 25 percent, Norsk Hydro with 13.5 percent, Norsk Agip with 11.5 per cent and Enterprise Oil holding the remaining 10 percent.