Norwegian energy provider Statoil has been awarded shares in seven exploration licences on the United Kingdom continental shelf (UKCS).
The company is operator for two of these, and expects this number to increase when the blocks pending environmental assessment are awarded.
The licences which were awarded by the UK authorities are part of the UK 27th Offshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round, and comprise a total of 19 blocks west of Shetland and in the North Sea.
“The awards are in line with Statoil’s exploration strategy of expanding our core positions. The recent exploration success at the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) has made us recognise that there is still significant potential in the mature North Sea Basin. With these new licenses we are building acreage position in proven hydrocarbon provinces,” says Nick Maden, senior vice president in Exploration international in Statoil.
The bids, which were submitted in May this year, are the most extensive ever made in Statoil’s history on the UKCS. In the UK North Sea, the most prolific award is for three blocks in the Catcher area on the Western Platform, where Statoil and Nexen on behalf of a group of five partners will be responsible for drilling at least three exploration wells in the coming years.
In the Faroe-Shetland Basin, several interesting licences have been awarded and an extensive programme of seismic acquisition and processing will take place in search of drilling candidates in this relatively underexplored high- potential region.
Statoil has a significant exploration portfolio off the Faroe Islands, but has so far only had a modest presence on the UK shelf with a few production licenses -most notably those associated with the Mariner and Bressay development projects.