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Maersk Strikes Oil at Angola’s First Pre-Salt Deepwater Well

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Maersk Oil, the Nordic region’s second-largest producer, reported the first discovery in Angola’s deep-sea pre-salt region.

The Azul-1 well in the Kwanza Basin was drilled to a depth of 5,334 meters (17,500 feet) and was found to have a potential capacity of more than 3,000 barrels a day, Copenhagen-based Maersk said today in a statement. Further appraisal work is needed, said Lars Nydahl Jorgensen, its head of exploration.

BP Plc and Statoil ASA were among oil producers awarded rights last month to explore for oil and gas in Angola’s pre-salt blocks, which may share the same characteristics as fields in Brazil. Drilling pre-salt wells is technically challenging because the deposits lie below a layer of salt, which is difficult to penetrate and identify potential oil fields.

“The real significance of this well is that is shows us that the pre-salt in this part of the Atlantic” works, Jorgensen said in a phone interview. “We now have a lot of data that we didn’t have before.”

The well test that was carried out “enabled the recovery of two good quality oil samples,” the oil unit of A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, Denmark’s biggest company, said.

Svenska Petroleum Exploration AB and Angola’s state-owned oil company Sonangol EP are Maersk’s partners in the Azul-1 well.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at egismatullin@bloomberg.net

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

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