Norway’s Statoil ASA will focus exploration on its dwelling turf subsequent yr because it seeks extra oil and fuel to run by way of current platforms somewhat than gigantic deposits in frontier areas.

While world plans aren’t but full, it’s clear that the majority of efforts can be within the firm’s personal yard, exploration head Tim Dodson stated Tuesday. He confirmed that Statoil plans to take part in 25 to 30 exploration wells off Norway subsequent yr, with as many as two dozen of these break up between the North and Norwegian seas, the place platforms have lengthy been in place.

“It’s not likely a yr of big-impact prospects,” Dodson stated in an interview forward of Statoil’s annual Autumn Conference in Oslo. “It’s extra a yr of value-creating, infrastructure-led exploration exercise in Norway and the UK”


Oil corporations have slashed exploration spending since crude crashed in 2014. Statoil will make investments $1.three billion looking for new assets this yr, a few third of the quantity in 2013. Nevertheless, cheaper drilling has allowed it to extend the variety of wells to about 30 globally this yr from 23 in 2016, and subsequent yr’s marketing campaign marks a possible doubling of exploration within the North and Norwegian seas.

That can be music to the ears of Bente Nyland, head of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, who just lately expressed concern that exploration within the North Sea may fall to an 11-year low in 2017.

“It’s actually about making full use of the place we have now, the infrastructure that’s in place,” Dodson stated. “That infrastructure doesn’t get any youthful, so it’s actually about making an attempt to vacuum up and generate worth. We can create lots of worth from these small discoveries.”

While mature areas will make up a better proportion of Statoil’s Norwegian exploration efforts, the corporate will drill 5 or 6 wells within the Arctic Barents Sea in 2018 — not less than as many as this yr. The 2017 marketing campaign there yielded disappointing outcomes, particularly on the much-anticipated Korpfjell prospect. While Statoil will drill a deeper properly on the similar license subsequent yr, it now has decrease expectations, Dodson stated.

The government declined to estimate what number of wells Statoil will take part in exterior Norway subsequent yr, however make clear a few of the firm’s plans:

Statoil will function a rig off Brazil by way of the yr. It plans one well-test on the southern a part of Carcara oil area — thought to carry about 2 Bbbl — and one exploration properly on the northern half. It will even drill on the “sizable” Guanxuma prospect. It plans one properly in Tanzania early in 2018, the final remaining “dedication properly” in Block 2 Statoil will in all probability take part in “a pair” of non-operated wells within the Gulf of Mexico In Argentina, Statoil sees “some exercise” within the Baja del Toro allow within the Vaca Muerta shale formation, which it entered this yr It additionally sees as many as three wells off the UK, together with probably a follow-up on this yr’s Verbier discovery within the outer Moray Firth.

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Statoil plans to launch particulars of exploration spending at its capital markets replace in February.


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