Stavanger-based operator Statoil is set to drill three wells in promising Canadian offshore acreage while sharing the costs of another area well and maturing its new Beaufort Sea stake.
Statoil is targeting the Mizzen discovery of 2009, where 5,400 square kilometres of advanced surveys are planned and Husky is partner. Two wells in the promising, deepwater Flemish Pass accumulation target the Harpoon and then the Cupids prospects.
"It means we have a proven petroleumm system in the area," Statoil's Canadian exploration boss, Geir Richardson, told an ONS 2012 arctic seminar.
"It's an important step to becoming an operator in the area," Richardson said.
Another well at the Federation prospect in the Jean D'Arc basin is to the south near the Terra Nova development and requires a rig move through a vast area the size of two North Sea map quadrants.
Richardson said Statoil now believes the the Mizzen discovery could contain up to 200 million barrels of oil.
Statoil is also partnered to drill the Margeree well, and it appears operator Chevron will take over the rig after the Flemish Pass drilling.
The Norwegian energy outfit now holds sizeable stakes in what Richardson called "significant" if unheralded discoveries: 65 percent in Mizzen; 72 percent of West Burney Bay and half of Kings Cove East. The holdings mean the Norwegian taxpayer, via their majority stake in Statoil, now controls more value offshore Newfoundland and Labrador than Canadian taxpayers.
As Richardson spoke, he was asked by a GdF Suez employee if seasonal or ice-berge related time contstraints hampered operations. Richardson answered that keeping clear of fishing fleets was the only constraint.
He said he was confident drilling would go well, although the area is known locally as "ice-berg alley".
Elsewhere, a new Statoil asset offshore the Northwest Territories has been quickly matured via WesternGeco survey. License L460, in which Statoil has had a stake since early this year, is covered in sea ice nine months a year.
"We're pleased by what we learned up there," said Richardson.