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Tullow Finds First Oil in Norway After 10 Unsuccessful Wells

Tullow Oil Plc discovered its first crude off Norway after at least 10 unsuccessful wells this year.

The company together with partners, including OMV AG and Statoil ASA, made the “breakthrough oil discovery” with the Wisting Central exploration well in the Barents Sea, Tullow said today in a statement. The Hoop-Maud Basin find may hold from 60 million barrels to 120 million barrels of recoverable crude, according to the London-based explorer.

“The discovery is a basin-opener with upside potential” of as much as 500 million barrels, Oswald Clint, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., wrote in an e-mailed report.

The discovery follows the $372 million acquisition of Spring Energy AS last year. Globally, the company drilled at least 10 unsuccessful wells this year, including the Augunshaug in Norway last month, Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. wrote in an Aug. 29 report. In September, Tullow and Statoil said the Buzio-1 exploration well in Area 2 offshore Mozambique was dry.

Tullow rose 3.6 percent, the biggest gain in two months, to 1,070 pence by the close in London.

Separately, Tullow expanded in Namibia after securing a stake in the EL 0037 permit from Pancontinental Oil & Gas NL, the Australian company said today in a statement.

The discovery “serves to reverse recent exploration disappointments offshore Mozambique, Ivory Coast and French Guiana and delivers the first tangible value from the Spring Energy portfolio,” Gerry Hennigan, an analyst with Goodbody Stockbrokers in Dublin, wrote in a report. “The announcement from Pancontinental demonstrates that Tullow’s appetite for new exploration acreage is undiminished.”

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