Norwegian state-controlled energy company Statoil (STO)
is to start drilling for oil off the North Atlantic Faroe Islands this week in the first test well on the Faroe shelf.
"The well will be spudded in the middle of the week by the drilling rig Sovereign Explorer, which is contracted by Statoil to drill the first exploration well on the Faroe shelf," the Faroe Islands Ministry of Petroleum said.
Sovereign Explorer was due to reach Faroese waters at the weekend and the positioning and anchor handling at the well site were expected to take four days.
The well on the so-called Longan prospect is located to the southeast of the Faroe Islands close to the British boundary. The work is scheduled to take two to three months.
In the first licensing round on the Faroe shelf, which was launched in February last year, the Faroese Ministry of Petroleum received 22 license applications from 17 oil companies
. In August 2000, the ministry awarded seven offshore exploration licenses to 12 oil companies.
In addition to Statoil, BP (BP)
and the Faroese Partnership, with U.S. Amerada Hess as operator, are also to drill off the Faroe Islands this summer.