Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO) has recently announced that it plans to drill twenty to twenty-five new exploration wells in the Norwegian continental shelf in 2014. Of the wells planned for 2014, two-thirds will be Statoil operated, ensuring the execution of these drilling plans.

Statoil to build upon prior success

Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO) has enjoyed exploration success in this area in recent months and wants to build upon this success to discover further oil and gas, especially in adjacent fields. Statoil claims to have discovered more oil and gas in 2013 than any other company. Furthermore, the success rate in the Norwegian continental shelf is claimed to be 70 percent for Statoil while the industry average success rate in this area stands at 49 percent.

“This confirms that our exploration strategy is paying off,” explained Gro G. Haatvedt, senior vice president for Norwegian continental shelf exploration in Statoil. “We believe that our competence and experience throughout the value chain give us an advantage when prioritizing the right prospects, performing efficient exploration and ensuring value creation,” she added.

Work in Barents Sea

The Norway-based oil and gas firm wants to continue exploration activity in the Barents Sea in 2014 and plans to drill five to seven new wells in this area. Previously, Statoil’s gas discovery in Iskrystall had made Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO)’s work in the Barents Sea very popular.

In 2014, the company plans to test the potential in the Hoop area and continue drilling around the Johan Castberg discoveries (including Skrugard and Havis). “Statoil is a partner in the OMV-operated Wisting Central discovery in PL537 announced in September, which opened a new oil play in the Hoop area. During Q2-Q3 of 2014 Statoil will drill the Atlantis and Apollo prospects in PL615, approximately 50 kilometres north of PL537,” reported Statoil.

“The Apollo well will target the same geological formation as the Wisting Central well. We have a solid understanding of the subsurface and are well prepared to conduct safe and secure operations in this area of the NCS,’ said Haatvedt. ‘We still believe we can find more oil in the Johan Castberg area to make the field development project more robust. Currently we are evaluating several prospects around Johan Castberg for drilling in 2014.”

Statoil’s persistent search for oil

“In the North Sea our plan is to further explore around the King Lear discovery and continue our hunt for barrels in the greater Utsira High area. We will also pursue our exploration effort around existing infrastructure in order to discover timely high-value barrels for the new fast-track developments,” said Haatvedt.

Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO) made gas and condensate discoveries in King Lear prospect the previous year. The company wants to drill in adjacent areas in 2014 of these discoveries as it feels the area is highly promising. Furthermore, “This is a high temperature and high pressure (HTHP) area, which Statoil has a strong record in handling,” said the company.

During this week, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has granted Statoil a new drilling permit for well 7220/4-1. Statoil is the operator of this license with 50 percent ownership stake. The remaining shares are held by Eni Norge AS (30 percent) and Petoro AS (20 percent).

Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO) is very confident of the success of its future plans and the focus of the company is to mature the deep-water exploration campaigns and to reap the best from the area. The company feels the Norwegian shelf area offers new and exciting opportunities just waiting to be harvested.