Statoil in Arctic snag


STAVANGER, August 29, 2017 – Statoil has failed to discover commercial quantities of hydrocarbons in a much-touted Arctic reservoir thought to contain up to 1 billion boe, the Norwegian major announced on Tuesday.

The Korpfjell well in the southeast Barents Sea, an area that had previously been subject to a dispute between Russia and Norway, struck only “a small, non-commercial” gas deposit of about 40 million-75 million recoverable boe, the press release added. The result came far short of partner Lundin’s estimates of upwards of 1 billion boe, Reuters reported. Statoil had previously said it hoped to find more than 250 million boe in the well, which it had classified as “high-impact.”


Statoil nevertheless said that it is planning a second well in the Korpfjell licence next year.

“The results are of course disappointing, but it is too early to draw any conclusions on how this will impact the Barents Sea southeast area,” said Jez Averty, the company’s head of exploration in Norway and the UK. “It is important to remember that you rarely succeed on the first try in a frontier area. Thirty-three wells were drilled before the first commercial discovery was made in the Norwegian section of the North Sea.”

The news came amid a surge of drilling in the Arctic. In June, Norway announced its 24th Arctic licensing round, putting on offer 102 blocks in the Barents and Norwegian seas. Also in June, Russia’s Rosneft said it had discovered its first Arctic oilfield, and that it was planning to invest USD 4.41 billion in Arctic E&P over the next five years.

Statoil holds 30% operated interest in the Korpfjell licence PL 859, followed by Chevron and Petoro with 20% each, while Lundin and ConocoPhilips each own 15%.

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