Agip to return to Barents Sea as only operator

Aug 29, 2001 02:00 AM

Agip will be the only operator returning to the Norwegian Barents Sea made during last year's the 2000 drilling season. Agip is getting ready to spud an appraisal well in the Goliath structure to appraise the discovery made last year, which served to bring new enthusiasm about the possible prospects of the Barents Sea as a new oil province. Agip will use the West Alpha semi submersible, which should be on its way north in the next few days, after completing on the Gudran exploration well.
The other operators working together on the Nobalis drilling campaign for the Barents Sea, have all decided to delay further drilling operations until 2002. In the meantime, ExxonMobil, Norsk Hydro, TotalFinaElf and Statoil will review data and coordinate a mobile rig program for the Barents Sea in order to be able to carry out co-ordinated efforts and sharing of rigs in a rather significant program for next year.

Operators were hoping to drill wells in the Barents Sea this year, but have opted to give it another year, not least in response to the tight rig market. Two rigs have been cleared for operations in the area. They are the Transocean Arctic and the Transocean Polar Pioneer semi submersibles, both being badly needed elsewhere on Norway's continental shelf.
Now the NPD (the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate) has also approved the use of the West Alpha for operations during the limited period when drilling in the Barents Sea is permitted.

Source: Hart's European offshore petroleum newsl/pbi media
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