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Vol. 15, No. 46 Week of November 14, 2010
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

The Explorers 2010: Statoil

Although Shell and ConocoPhillips are the center of attention for Chukchi Sea exploration, they arenít the only companies looking to drill in the outer continental shelf off the northwestern coast of Alaska. The Norwegian company Statoil recently completed a 3-D seismic survey over leases it holds jointly with Eni Petroleum. Statoil, then StatoilHydro, bid $14 million on 16 tracts in the Chukchi Sea during a record breaking federal lease sale in February 2008. Through a cash and trade deal, Statoil picked up a 25 percent stake in 50 ConocoPhillips leases in the Chukchi Sea in January 2010.

Statoil announced its program in April. It plans to shoot 3-D seismic over 915 square miles, mostly located more than 100 miles offshore. That program almost didnít happen this year. A court injunction over Chukchi Sea drilling appeared to also cover seismic work, and a federal moratorium over offshore drilling in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill created uncertainty about all offshore activities. Statoil ultimately got its final permits just in time, though. Time and money permitting, Statoil said it might also shoot 2-D seismic over a broader area of the Chukchi Sea to learn more about older well sites.

Current exploration focus:

Northern Alaska: Statoil is shooting 3-D seismic over offshore acres its holds in a 60-40 partnership with Eni Petroleum. The company might also shoot 2-D seismic this year.



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