Statoil has decided to defer its planned 2014 Chukchi Sea exploration by at least one year, with drilling now expected to begin in 2015, at the earliest, Jim Schwartz, Statoil’s head of communications in Houston, confirmed to Petroleum News today. And the company has not yet made a firm decision on a possible 2015 well, he said.
Schwartz said that Statoil has been observing the continuing delays to the start of Shell’s Chukchi Sea exploration drilling program.
“In the light of the significant uncertainty regarding Alaska offshore exploration, we’ve decided to take what we believe is a prudent step of observing the outcome of Shell’s efforts before finalizing our own exploration timeframe,” he said.
Statoil believes it to be important to observe the timing and outcome of obtaining permits and regulatory approvals, and demonstrating that “exploration operations can be reliably and cost efficiently conducted in the field in this very dynamic and challenging environment,” Schwartz said.
Statoil is proceeding with efforts targeting the submission of a Chukchi Sea exploration plan in mid-2013 for a possible 2015 well, he said.