Shell Norway (Norske Shell), has discovered gas at a North Sea well after completing drilling.

The company, which is the operator of production licence (PL) 326, said that the well 6603/12-1 was drilled in 1,376m of water.

The objective of the well was to prove petroleum in upper Cretaceous reservoir rocks in a prospect called Gro.

Preliminary estimates indicate between 10 and 100 billion standard cubic metres (Sm3) of recoverable gas, the company said.

The well encountered a 16m gas column in the upper Cretaceous, in a reservoir of varying quality, the company said.

The licencees in PL 326 are owned by GDF SUEZ E&P Norge with 10%, StatoilHydro Petroleum with 40% and Norske Shell with 50%.