West Hercules

Statoil has completed an exploration drilling programme offshore Newfoundland, Canada, in a bid to increase the robustness of the Bay du Nord project.

The 19-month drilling programme is also aimed at testing new areas of the Flemish Pass Basin, located about 500km east of St John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador.

As part of the programme, the company and its partners drilled nine wells using the Seadrill West Hercules in the Flemish Pass Basin.

Drilling began in November 2014 and included four exploration wells close to the 2013 Bay du Nord discovery, in addition to three appraisal wells on the discovery.

The programme was extended by one month to incorporate the drilling of Baccalieu well on a licence awarded by the C-NLOPB last year.

Two exploration wells were also drilled in areas outside the Bay du Nord discovery.

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Two oil discoveries were made at the Bay de Verde and Baccalieu prospects in the Bay du Nord area under the programme.

Statoil exploration Northern Hemisphere senior vice-president Erling Vågnes said: "We are encouraged by the discoveries in the Bay de Verde and Baccalieu wells and the results of the appraisal wells.

"We are encouraged by the discoveries in the Bay de Verde and Baccalieu wells and the results of the appraisal wells."

"The Flemish Pass Basin offshore Newfoundland is a frontier area, where only 17 wells have been drilled in the entire basin, in an area that is 30,000 square kilometres."

The appraisal and exploration of the Bay du Nord discovery confirmed that the volumes are within the original volume ranging between 300 and 600 million barrels of recoverable oil as estimated by Statoil in 2013.

Statoil Canada president Paul Fulton said: "The recent drilling programme has been critical to Statoil’s continued assessment of Bay du Nord, and work is underway to evaluate the results related to proceeding with a potential Statoil-operated development in the Flemish Pass Basin."

Image: The West Hercules drilling rig. Photo: courtesy of Ole Jørgen Bratland via Statoil.