Statoil strengthens position on UK continental shelf
Statoil was awarded interests in 12 new licences, 9 as operator, in the 28th licensing round on the UK continental shelf, announced today by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
“We were awarded all the acreage that we had applied for and are of course very pleased with the outcome of this licensing round. These awards strengthen our UK continental shelf portfolio significantly and underpin our long-term commitment as an operator in UK waters,” says Erling Vågnes, senior vice president for exploration in Statoil.
Eleven of the licences are in the North Sea and the remaining one is West of Hebrides. In terms of size, this additional acreage constitutes almost 8000 square kilometres and thus represents access at scale.
Significant positions have been taken both in mature parts of the Central North Sea, such as in the vicinity of the Mariner and Bressay projects, and in relation to plays largely untested in UK waters. In this latter category, the acreage picked up on the northern margin of the Mid North Sea High (Quadrants 37 and 38) and in the Halibut Horst area (Quadrants 13 and 14) can be highlighted.
“This new acreage holds the potential for new high-value barrels in our greater North Sea core area, both near our existing heavy oil projects and in new areas. This is in line with Statoil’s exploration strategy of taking large, untested acreage positions and deepening existing core areas,” says Vågnes.
Statoil is planning to drill two exploration wells in 2015 in acreage acquired in the previous UK licensing round, and also sees the potential for maturing several additional drilling candidates on the 28th round acreage.
Statoil continues the development of the heavy oil Mariner field, planned to come on stream in 2017. The Bressay project is in the concept evaluation phase.