Statoil makes giant North Sea discovery

Kasmira Jefford
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STATOIL, the Norwegian state-controlled oil and gas company, announced yesterday that two previous North Sea oil discoveries are connected and together may represent the biggest find in Norway’s part of the continental shelf in 30 years.

Statoil said the Aldous Major South discovery in the North Sea, may hold twice as much oil and equivalents as previously announced last week, with the field now estimated to contain between 400 to 800m barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

The company also confirmed that Aldous is attached to another discovery, Avaldsnes, and the combined prospect is estimated to hold between 500m and 1.2bn boe, up to three times more than first thought.

The discovery marks the third time this year that the energy firm has made a “high impact discovery” – 250m barrels of oil equivalent – this year, following a find in the Arctic and the Peregrino South discovery off the coast of Brazil.

The latest find will help Statoil achieve its goal of hiking its annual production by a third by 2020 to 2.5m barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), Tim Dodson, Statoil’s vice president of exploration, but would not change its production estimates for the next few years.

Statoil has struggled with declining oil production in recent years and has often revised downwards its future production estimates. Last year it produced 1.89m boed, down from 1.96m in 2009.

The company also said yesterday that it will invest just under 15bn crowns (£1.68bn) in building the world’s first gas compressor on the seabed at its Aasgard platform in the Norwegian Sea, which will boost volumes.

Statoil shares climbed 2.77 per cent to close at 126.10 Norwegian kroner.