Statoil Announces "Significant" North Sea Oil Discovery

Statoil (NYSE: STO  ) says it has discovered "considerable additional resources" in the North Sea. Preliminary calculations that involve a "high degree of uncertainty" indicate the discovery contains 40 million to 150 million recoverable barrels of oil equivalents.

Statoil announced the find in the Shetland Group/Lista Formation in the Gullfaks license today. The Gullfaks license is shared with Petoro, Statoil's minority partner in the North Sea oil enterprise. Terms of the partnership are that Statoil as the operator receives 70% of the Gullfaks drilling proceeds, and Norway-owned Petoro garners 30%.

According to the announcement, the recently discovered deposits are younger and shallower than Statoil's existing Brent Group reservoir, a primary deposit in the Gullfaks site. Based on modeling techniques and analysis of the newly discovered deposit, Statoil estimates the site contains between 40 million and 150 million recoverable barrels of oil. Early testing of the Shetland Group/Lista formation also suggests it may have further upside potential, however additional study is needed to confirm the early findings, said the company.

"The discovery provides new volumes that can give high-value production in a short time as well as new and promising perspectives for the field and the installations," said Oystein Michelsen, executive VP for development and production of Statoil Norway.

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