StatoilHydro has struck oil during the drilling of an exploration well and a sidetrack north of the Vigdis East field in the North Sea.
The proven recoverable resources are estimated at about 25 million barrels of oil. The well confirmed the existence of a 280-metre oil column in rocks with good reservoir properties.
"Our exploration activities close to fields on stream are successful and the discovery again confirms that there is still a great potential in this part of the North Sea," says Tom Dreyer, StatoilHydro's vice president, infrastructure-led exploration, North Sea.
The exploration well was drilled into the Vigdis North-East prospect, located 3 kilometres south of the Snorre field.
The purpose of the well was to confirm the existence of hydrocarbons in Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks belonging to the Statfjord group.
The purpose of the side-track was to get a better overview of the resource potential.
The discovery will be developed towards the Tordis or Vigdis fields.
"Such discoveries close to established infrastructure help extend the life of the installations and capture the potential offshore", says Kari Flesjå, team leader for infrastructure-led exploration in the North Sea.
Drilled in 292 metres of water the well will be permanently plugged and abandoned. Extensive data acquisition and sampling took place during the drilling operation.
Partners in exploration licence 089: StatoilHydro (operator) (41.5 percent), Petoro AS (30.0), ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Norway AS (10.5), Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS (9.6), Total E&P Norge AS (5.6) and RWE Dea Norge AS (2.8).
Exploration well 34/7-34 was drilled to a total vertical depth of 2,670 metres below the sea level. Side-track 34/7-34 A was drilled to a total depth of 2,712 metres. This was exploration well number 34 in production licence 089, which was awarded during the 8th licensing round in 1984. Both well trajectories were completed in Upper Triassic rocks belonging to the Lunde formation. The well was drilled by the Borgland Dolphin drilling rig, which will continue the operations in production licence 089 drilling well 34/7-G 4 H.