Statoil and its partner Total E&P Norge announced that it has made a significant gas and condensate discovery in the King Lear prospect located in the southern part of the Norwegian North Sea.

Exploration well 2/4-2, which was drilled to 5,344m below sea level by the jack-up rig Maersk Gallant, intercepted a 48m gas / condensate column in the main bore.

An additional 70m gas / condensate column was also discovered in side-track 2/4-21A, which was drilled to a vertical depth of 5,237m below sea level.

Gro Gunleiksrud Haatvedt, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway, said: "The drill results confirm our expectations and show once again that the Norwegian continental shelf still delivers high value barrels."

The company will look into an optimal development solution for King Lear and evaluate if the discovery should be developed as a stand-alone or as a tie-in to infrastructure in the area.

Statoil estimates that the King Lear prospect total volume may be in the range of 70 and 200 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.

Total E&P Norge owns a 22.2% stake in the production licences PL146 and PL333, where the well and side-track are located, while Statoil owns a 77.8% interest.

Image: Jack-up rig Maersk Gallant was employed to drill the wells located in the production licences 146 and 333. Photo courtesy of: Ole Jørgen Bratland /Statoil.