Statoil hits gas in North Sea

Statoil has found gas in the middle sector of the North Sea. The discovery was drilled around two kilometres west of the Gullfaks South field and is estimated at up […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Statoil has found gas in the middle sector of the North Sea.

The discovery was drilled around two kilometres west of the Gullfaks South field and is estimated at up to 75m barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.

“The discovery by Gullfaks confirms once again that infrastructure-led exploration is important and leads to finds with high profitability that can quickly come on stream,” said Gro Gunleiksrud Haatvedt, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf.

“We regard the area around Gullfaks South to be prospective and the find confirms our faith in the area,” she added.”Even if the volumes are modest compared to the large discoveries previously made on the Norwegian continental shelf, discoveries of this type are important in order to maximise the potential on the NCS. They help extend the lifetime of the installations.”

The discovery comes as Statoil today revealed its fourth quarter results. Statoil’s fourth quarter 2010 net operating income was £4.6bn, compared with £3.6bn in the same quarter of 2009.

Its 2010 net operating income was £14.7bn, compared with £13m in 2009.

“Whilst production volumes were below our expectations in the second part of the year due to high maintenance, specific operational issues and reduced production permits, Statoil continues to deliver strong financial results and cash flows”, says Statoil’s chief executive officer Helge Lund.