Norwegian oil giant Statoil ASA (STO) along with its partners has struck oil and gas in the Askja prospects in the North Sea.
The mid-water semisubmersible rig Ocean Vanguard was used to drill two exploration wells – 30/11-9S and 30/11-9A – located between the Oseberg and Frigg fields and about 13 kilometer southeast of the Statoil-operated Krafla/Krafla West discoveries.
The main wellbore 30/11-9 S tested the Askja West prospect, where a net gas column of 295 feet (90 meters) in Late and Middle Jurassic rocks was proven.
In the same geological formation, side-track 30/11-9 A tested the Askja East prospect and proved a net oil column of 131 feet (40 metres). The reservoir properties in both wells met expectations.
According to Statoil, the total estimated recoverable volumes in Askja West and Askja East is expected in the range of 19–44 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Statoil, the operator of PL 272, has a stake of 50%. Other partners Det norske oljeselskap ASA and Svenska Petroleum Exploration each hold an interest of 25%.
The latest find validates the potential in the most mature parts of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The North Sea is a highly productive basin that has constantly delivered new discoveries for more than four decades.
The majority of Norway’s important oil and gas fields are located in this region. The first discovery made in this part was Ekofisk in 1969, after which a new wave of consciousness arose following the 2010 discovery of Johan Sverdrup, one of Norway's biggest-ever oil discoveries. Johan Sverdrup is estimated to hold resources of 1.8 billion barrels.
Statoil carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the oil and gas sector include Harvest Natural Resources Inc. (HNR), Transocean Ltd. (RIG) and Tesco Corp. (TESO). Both these stocks hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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