Oil major Statoil has received the Petroleum Safety Authority’s (PSA) consent to drill an exploration well in block 6507/8 situated in the Norwegian Sea.

The well to be drilled is located in the Carmen prospect at Haltenbanken at depths of 358m. The site is situated 222km west of Brønnøysund in Nordland county and 10km north-east of Heidrun

Following consent, Statoil will now drill a pilot well down to 800m to find shallow gas in the area using the semi-submersible drilling facility Deepsea Bergen.

Built at Aker Verdal in 1983, the drilling facility of the Aker H-3.2 type is owned and operated by Odfjell Drilling and is classified by DNV GL.

"Statoil will now drill a pilot well down to 800m to find shallow gas in the area."

PSA issued an acknowledgement of compliance (AoC) to the facility in December 2001.

Scheduled to begin in the middle of this month, drilling is estimated to last for 18 days.

Under PSA regulations, an operator is required to obtain consent from the regulator at important milestones to ensure that all its key decisions are subject to government control.

Consents are a prerequisite to carry out all activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The consent application binds the operator to comply with all necessary regulatory requirements set by the PSA along with the Norwegian Environment Directorate and the Norwegian Board of Health.