Statoil ASA and partners Eni Norge AS and Petoro AS have made an oil and gas discovery in the Skavl prospect in PL532, close to Johan Castberg in the Barents Sea.
Well 7220/7-2 S, drilled by the semisubmersible rig West Hercules, proved a 22m gas column and a 23m oil column in the Jurassic Tubåen formation, and a 133m oil column in the Triassic Fruholmen formation - a new play model in the area.
Statoil estimates the volumes in Skavl to be in the range of 20-50 million barrels of recoverable oil. The Fruholmen formation will be further assessed with future exploration and appraisal, said Statoil.
The find follows an announcement, by Statoil earlier this year, that plans for the Johan Castberg discovery were being delayed in order to further prove the resource base for the development and iron out uncertainties in the investment level.
Gro G. Haatvedt, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf said: "Statoil puts a lot of effort into proving additional oil resources in the Johan Castberg area in order to make the field development project more robust. We are pleased to see that our efforts now pay off."
However, Statoil's VP for field development, northern Norway, said there were still issues around the tax framework for the field, which "remained challenging".
Skavl was the third of a four well-campaign in the Johan Castberg area planned for this year. The first two wells, Nunatak and Iskrystall, proved only gas.
When work is completed at Skavl, the West Hercules will move 16km north to drill the fourth well on the Kramsnø prospect. Plans for drilling in 2014 include the Drivis prospect. Statoil is currently evaluating additional opportunities, said Haatvedt.
Statoil is operator for production license PL532 with an ownership share of 50%. The license partners are Eni Norge AS (30%) and Petoro AS (20%).