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Statoil has discovered more gas near the Aasta Hansteen field in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea.

The 6706/12-2 well in the Snefrid Nord prospect was drilled by the Transocean Spitsbergen rig, proving a 105m gas column in the Nise Formation.

Snefrid Nord volumes are estimated to be in the range of 31 to 57 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.

Statoil said the discovery will be further evaluated for future tie-in to the Aasta Hansteen infrastructure.

The well is located in PL218 in the Norwegian Sea. Statoil operates it with a 51% interest.

Wintershall Norge and OMV (Norge) own 24% and 15% stakes respectively. ConocoPhillips Skandinavia owns the remaining 10% interest.

"Near-field exploration is the main focus of our Norwegian continental shelf exploration programme in 2015."

Statoil senior vice president exploration Norway Irene Rummelhoff said: "The Snefrid Nord discovery increases the resource-base for the Aasta Hansteen field development project by around 15%.

"Near-field exploration is the main focus of our Norwegian continental shelf exploration programme in 2015. By proving additional timely resources, we extend the production life of our fields and create significant value."

Statoil is drilling two exploration wells in the vicinity of Aasta Hansteen in 2015, with the goal of proving upside potential in the area.

Upon completion of Snefrid Nord operations, the Transocean Spitsbergen rig will be moved to the neighbouring licence PL602. It will also drill an exploration well in the Roald Rygg prospect.


Image: Statoil senior vice president exploration Norway Irene Rummelhoff. Photo: courtesy of Harald Pettersen.