Statoil Spuds First Well on Sarsfield Prospect

The first exploration well on the Sarsfield prospect west of Ireland has been spudded by Statoil using Transocean Sedco Forex's semisubmersible, Sovereign Explorer. The well is located in the Porcupine basin about 105 miles off County Kerry in 2,132 feet of water and will take approximately 52 days to complete. The Sovereign Explorer arrived off the Irish Republic recently after completing its contract with Ranger offshore Ivory Coast.

The Sarsfield well ranks as the first to be drilled by Statoil on the Irish continental shelf since 1997. According to Statoil Exploration Ireland, the operation forms part of the group's commitment to the Atlantic Margin. Extending from west of Ireland to northern Norway, this area is one of the most important for Statoil's international exploration operations.

Results from the well are expected in the autumn, once all the analyses have been completed. Statoil Exploration Ireland is the operator and has a 38 percent interest in Sarsfield, with Conoco, Enterprise Energy Ireland and Dana as its partners.