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Statoil on track at Koigen Central

State-controlled explorer in action at final well of current Barents campaign off Norway

Statoil is under way with drilling of the fifth and final wildcat of its current exploration campaign in the Barents Sea off Norway.

The recently spudded 7317/9-1 probe is being drilled at the Koigen Central prospect by semi-submersible Songa Enabler and has an estimated duration of 32 days.

The well is located in a water depth of 434 metres in Statoil-operated production licence 718 in the Stappen High area, about 109 kilometres south of the Bear Island nature reserve.

The state-controlled explorer will be hoping for a significant find after a largely unsuccessful campaign, having made only minor oil and gas discoveries at the Kayak and Blaamann prospects, while coming up dry with the previous well at the highly-touted Korpfjell prospect.

Both Korpfjell and Koigen Central have been opposed by environmental group Greenpeace because of their respective proximities to the Arctic ice boundary and Bear Island given the risk of a possible oil spill.

However, Statoil has already laid plans for further drilling in the Barents next year as it remains confident in the resource potential of the frontier Arctic region.

Two of next year’s wells are in the formerly disputed zone near the Russian maritime border.

In addition to a second probe at Korpfjell, the campaign will include a Statoil-operated well at the Gjokasen prospect in PL857.

Statoil is also a partner in Aker BP-operated PL858, where a wildcat is planned on the Fedynsky High structure.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Barents, Swedish player Lundin Petroleum is currently drilling a wildcat at the Borselv prospect in the Loppa High play while Italy’s Eni is probing the Goliat Eye prospect on the margins of the producing Goliat oilfield.