Norwegian energy giant and LNG operator Statoil plans to drill around 30 exploration wells in 2017, an increase of around 30 percent compared to 2016.
More than half of the wells will be drilled on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), the company said in its statement on Wednesday.
“Taking advantage of our own improvements and changed market conditions, we have been able to get more wells, more acreage and more seismic data for our exploration investments in later years,” Tim Dodson, executive vice president for exploration in Statoil said.
The 30 wells to be drilled in 2017, as partner and operator, are dependent on permitting, rig availability and partner approvals, Dodson said.
In 2016, Statoil completed a total of 23 exploration wells as operator and partner, 14 of them on the NCS, the statement reads.
In Norway, the 5-7 well exploration campaign in the Barents Sea is at the core of the activity plan. In The Norwegian Sea and the North Sea, the ambition is to prove near field volumes to prolong the productive lifetime of existing infrastructure and determine the growth potential.
In total, Statoil expects 16-18 NCS exploration wells to be completed in 2017. New discoveries are crucial to counteract decline on the NCS.
Internationally, Statoil’s 2017 exploration drilling activity will comprise growth opportunities in basins where Statoil already is established with discoveries and producing fields, as well as new frontier opportunities.