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Statoil Sees Larger Sverdrup Discovery After Proving Extension

Statoil ASA (STL), Norway’s biggest energy company, said an exploration well showed its Johan Sverdrup oil discovery, possibly the biggest in almost 40 years, extends into a third license, adding to resource estimates.

The well proved a 13.5-meter (44-foot) oil column in license 502 and showed it linked to the rest of the field in licenses 501 and 265, the Stavanger-based company said today.

The exploration well “proves a small additional upside to the field’s resources,” Statoil said in a statement. The results also indicate “there may be further upside potential in the area” as Statoil plans a new exploration well at the Cliffhanger prospect west of Johan Sverdrup.

Discovered by Lundin Petroleum AB (LUPE) in 2010, the Johan Sverdrup field, which may hold as much as 3.6 billion barrels of oil, could be the biggest offshore Norway since Statfjord in 1974. Sverdrup has helped rekindle interest in exploration in the waters off the Nordic nation’s coast, where crude output is expected to fall for a 13th consecutive year in 2013 to less than half a 2000 peak, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Statoil spokesman Ola Anders Skauby declined to comment on increases to the company’s Sverdrup resources estimate when contacted by mobile phone. Statoil has said it plans to publish a new estimate for the whole field by the end of the year.

Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA (DETNOR), which has a 22.2 percent stake in license 502, said on March 7 that the exploration well at the prospect had encountered oil. The Trondheim-based company had given a pre-drill estimate of 40 million to 85 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Statoil is the operator of license 502 with a 44.44 percent stake, while Petoro AS has 33.33 percent. Lundin is the operator of PL501, while Statoil, which operates PL265, also serves as working operator for the entire discovery.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mikael Holter in Oslo at mholter2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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