Statoil announces that it plans to drill around 30 exploration wells in 2017, an increase of around 30% compared to last year.

Statoil ASA announced Wednesday that it plans to drill around 30 exploration wells in 2017, an increase of around 30 percent compared to last year.

In 2016, Statoil completed a total of 23 exploration wells as operator and partner – 14 of them on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. More than half of the wells in this year’s campaign will be drilled on the NCS, with Statoil expecting between 16 to 18 NCS exploration wells to be completed in 2017.

In Norway, a 5 to 7 well exploration campaign in the Barents Sea is said to be at the core of the activity plan. In The Norwegian Sea and the North Sea, the ambition is to prove near field volumes to prolong the productive lifetime of existing infrastructure and determine the growth potential, Statoil said.

“Taking advantage of our own improvements and changed market conditions, we have been able to get more wells, more acreage and more seismic data for our exploration investments in later years,” Tim Dodson, executive vice president for exploration in Statoil, said.

“This allows us to firm up a strong drilling program for 2017, totalling around 30 exploration wells as operator and partner. The upcoming well program is balanced between proven, well known basins and new frontier opportunities,” he added.

Internationally, Statoil’s 2017 exploration drilling activity will comprise growth opportunities in basins where Statoil is already established with discoveries and producing fields, as well as new frontier opportunities, the company said in a statement.

Partner operated wells are planned to be spudded in established basins like the US Gulf of Mexico and in in new frontier areas like Indonesia and Suriname. Statoil is also partnering in onshore exploration drilling planned in Russia and Turkey.

“The 2017 exploration plans demonstrate our long term commitment to the NCS, while we continue to position the company for global opportunities. If everything goes to plan, we will this year have exploration drilling activity in 11 countries on five continents,” Dodson said.

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