Arctic Oil Exploration to be Stepped Up by Statoil
Statoil will drill nine wells during a non-stop 2013 Norwegian Barents exploration campaign.
The company plans to meet development challenges here by tripling its Arctic technology research budget.
Statoil's exploration experience in the Barents is already extensive. Of the 94 exploration wells drilled in the Norwegian Barents Sea so far, Statoil has been involved in 89. Nine more Statoil-operated wells are on their way here next year.
"After our Skrugard and Havis discoveries we still see attractive opportunities here," says Statoil Exploration executive vice president Tim Dodson.
"This is a less challenging area, as the Norwegian Barents is one of the only Arctic areas with a year-round ice-free zone. We also see the possibility of utilising knowledge gained here for Arctic prospects elsewhere later on – just like we've already done with Snøhvit."
In addition to increasing its drilling activities, Statoil has created a technology road map to prepare for activities in even harsher Arctic areas. This includes:
• A tripling of the current Arctic research budget – from NOK 80 million (in 2012) to NOK 250 million (in 2013)
• A research cruise to north east Greenland in September
• The maturing of an Arctic drill unit concept
Some of the technology highlights include work to allow for cost-effective 3D seismic for exploration prospect evaluation in ice, and the continuing development of a tailor-made, Arctic drill unit which will be one that can operate in a wide range of water depths across the Arctic, and will involve integrated operations in drifting ice.