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The West Hercules drilling rig at the Nunatak prospect. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

Well 7220/5-2, drilled by the rig West Hercules, encountered gas in rocks of Cretaceous age. Based on the present evaluation the discovery is considered non-commercial.

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Gro G. Haatvedt, senior vice president exploration Norway.

Nunatak was the first of four prospects to be drilled in the Johan Castberg area in 2013 with the aim of proving additional volumes for the Johan Castberg field development project.

Nunatak had the highest geological risk of the four prospects, but it was important to test first due to its immediate proximity to the Skrugard discovery.

Nunatak forms an independent structure in a younger geological formation than Skrugard and partly overlays the latter.

"With Nunatak we tested a new geological play model in the Johan Castberg area and acquired essential data which will be further analysed. The Nunatak results do not have any implications for the expectations to the next three wells as these will target other play models", says Gro G. Haatvedt, senior vice president exploration Norway.

"Whilst it is disappointing to find only gas in Nunatak, we believe in further oil potential in the Johan Castberg area", she concludes.

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Erik Strand Tellefsen, vice president field development northern Norway.

During drilling operations the partnership acquired important data for the Johan Castberg field development studies.

"Although the well did not succeed in adding resources to the Johan Castberg field development it has given us valuable data to firm up the well and subsea solutions for the Skrugard reservoir", says Erik Strand Tellefsen, vice president field development northern Norway.

After completion of Nunatak, the West Hercules rig will move to the neighbouring license PL608 to drill the Iskrystall prospect. Iskrystall is a prospect in the early-middle Jurassic play proven by the Skrugard and Havis discoveries, but at a significantly greater depth.

Statoil is operator for production licence PL532 with an ownership share of 50%. The licence partners are Eni Norge AS (30%) and Petoro AS (20%).

For further details on the results of exploration well 7220/5-2, please see the press release issued by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate >>