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Statoil, Det Norske Report ‘Very Good’ Well Results at Sverdrup

Statoil ASA and partner Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA said an appraisal well confirmed “good reservoir properties” at their Johan Sverdrup oil discovery, which may be the biggest off Norway in almost 40 years.

“The well results are very good,” Trondheim-based Det Norske said today in a statement. The well, in the Kvitsoey Basin off the coast of Stavanger, proved a 30-meter (100-foot) gross oil column, it said.

The North Sea Johan Sverdrup find, which may hold 1.7 billion to 3.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, has helped rekindle interest in Norway’s energy industry after the nation’s oil output fell by half in a decade as deposits aged. The state statistics bureau expects investments to reach a record 208 billion kroner ($37 billion) this year.

Statoil, which operates the PL 265 license, will publish new resource estimates for Johan Sverdrup in the fourth quarter, when the partners will decide on a development plan, spokesman Ola Anders Skauby said by phone. The Stavanger-based company had previously said updated estimates would be given this quarter.

Today’s result “reduces the downside risk for the updated resource estimate,” Teodor Sveen Nilsen, an analyst at Swedbank First Securities, said in a note to clients. “This well indicated higher probability for a midpoint estimate above the current 2.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent.”

A reserves figure at the top end of the range would make Sverdrup the third-biggest find off Norway since oil was first found in 1969 and the largest since the Statfjord field in 1974.

Reduce Uncertainty

Skauby declined to comment on the impact of the well results on reserve estimates, saying only that “we see a need to continue working on the appraisal program” to reduce the uncertainty of the forecast.

Statoil will drill one to three appraisal wells this year at the PL 265 area, where it’s “satisfied” with the appraisal program so far, the company said in a separate statement. It owns 40 percent of the permit, Det Norske has 20 percent, Petoro AS 30 percent and Lundin Petroleum AB 10 percent.

Lundin operates the other license at Sverdrup, PL 501, with a 40 percent stake.

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