Statoil has together with partners in PL348/348B made an oil discovery in the Snilehorn prospect in the Norwegian Sea, approximately fifteen kilometres northeast of the Njord field.

This is the third near-field discovery in the Norwegian Sea in three months.

Exploration well 6407/8-6 and sidetrack 6407/8-6A, drilled by the Songa Trym drilling rig, have proven several oil columns in formations dating from the Jurassic period.

The main wellbore has also proven oil at a deeper level, in reservoir rocks of Triassic age, probably Grey Beds formation. Further data analysis will clarify the age of this oil bearing formation.

The estimated volume of the discovery is in the range of 55 – 100 million barrels of recoverable oil. This is light oil of high quality.

“We are very pleased with the results of our near-field exploration programme in the Norwegian Sea this year,” says Gro G. Haatvedt, Statoil senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf.

“In three months we have made three new discoveries in the Norne, Åsgard and Njord areas proving a total of 86-166 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent. These are high value barrels that allow us to extend the production life of our installations.”

The Smørbukk North gas/condensate discovery in the Åsgard area and the Svale North oil discovery in the Norne area were announced in August and September respectively.

“A most likely future development of the Snilehorn discovery will be via the Hyme production system to Njord, or as a direct tie-in to the Njord platform,” says Arve Rennemo, vice president and asset owner of Njord.

The Snilehorn well results also provide new important information about the Halten Bank area in shallow water in the Norwegian Sea and indicate that there may be interesting follow-up potential in this area.

“This is probably the first time hydrocarbons have been proven in Grey Beds formation in this part of the Norwegian Sea. This will be confirmed by further analyses of the data and may imply further upside potential in this area,” says Haatvedt.

Exploration wells 6407/8-6 and 6407/8-6A are located in PL348/348B in the Norwegian Sea. Statoil is operator with an interest of 35%. The partners are GDF SUEZ E&P Norge AS (20%); E.ON E&P Norge AS (17.5%); Core Energy AS (17.5%); Faroe Petroleum Norge AS (7.5%) and VNG Norge AS (2.5%).