Friday, February 1, 2008

StatOil Strikes Natural Gas - Again - Norwegian Sea

OSLO, Norway -

State-controlled oil company StatoilHydro ASA struck natural gas with a exploration well drilled in the Norwegian Sea, near existing finds of the Nordic country's coast, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate announced Thursday.

The Norwegian company's find was about 180 kilometers (110 miles) off the west coast city of Trondheim, and has recoverable natural gas reserves estimated at being between 2 billion and 3 billion standard cubic meters (70 billion and 105 billion cubic feet), a directorate news release said.

Field operator StatoilHydro said it will study ways of connecting the find to the existing offshore field Aasgard so the gas can be produced.

The exploration block was awarded to StatoilHydro and its partners in 2003 as part of the government's Awards in Predefined Areas program to stimulate the search for oil near already producing fields as a way of shoring up slowly dwindling production.

Stavanger-based StatoilHydro and its subsidiary StatoilHydro Petroleum AS have a 59 percent stake in the field, while Mobil Development Norway AS owns 24 percent and Eni Norge AS has 17 percent.

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