Statoil has discovered gas in the Midnattsol prospect in the Norwegian Sea. The find was made in exploration well 6405/10-1 in production licence 281 where the company is operator.
"It's positive that a new gas find has been made in a deepwater area of the Norwegian Sea," says Frode Fasteland, acting head of exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf.
Midnattsol is located some 40 kilometres north of the Ormen Lange field and 30 kilometres south of the Ellida find.
The well was drilled in a water depth of 928 metres to a total depth of 3,158 metes below sea level. Gas was encountered in a reservoir of the late Cretaceous.
Core samples have been taken and an extremely thorough data acquisition programme carried out. The collected data will be analysed to estimate the discovery's size and production characteristics. It is too early at this stage to declare the find commercial.
"We have great faith in the Norwegian Sea and will continue to have a high level of activity in the area," says Mr Fasteland.
"Future activities include five exploration wells in the deepwater area in 2008. Three of them are Statoil-operated."
Midnattsol will be permanently plugged and abandoned. The Transocean Leader drilling rig will now be taken over by Eni.
The licensees in production licence 281, blocks 6405/4, 7 and 10 are Statoil with a 50% interest, EON Ruhrgas (20%), Petoro (20%) and CononoPhillips with 10%.