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Positive results for oil searchers

Almost all of the exploration wells on the Norwegian shelf have provided positive results. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (OD) expects 20 new exploration wells during this year.

There have been established 12 exploration wells on Norwegian shelf as of June 15, five appraisal wells and seven wildcats. Three wells are currently being drilled, stated the OD.

Only two of the twelve wildcats have been finished without any discoveries.

«First six months of 2004 has been very good considering the success rate on the Norwegian shelf, but even if few dry wells are drilled, it is not only positive,» stated Bente Nyland in OD. «The situation may also viewed in light that there is less willingness to take risks than earlier.»

More activity
Nyland expects about 20 wildcats during this year. This is an increase compared to last year, where there were 14 wells.

The investment in exploration have been low since the second quarter of 2002, with the record low NOK 700 million (USD 102 million) in fourth quarter of 2003. The expected investments in the second quarter are estimated to NOK 1.4 billion (USD 205 million), reports the Norwegian financial paper Finasavisen.

«With the 18th licensing round it was awarded a total of 18 licensing to searches in different companies,» said Nina Gravdal at the Norwegian Oil Industry Association, to the paper.

So far this year, three new oil reserves have been located. Esso has found oil west of Utsirahøgda, while Statoil has located oil at Linerleprospekt at Nornefelt. The sizes of the reserves have not yet been established, informed OD. Norsk Hydro has located a new, small oil zone at the Brage field.

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