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Wednesday, February 08, 2012 10:02 WIT
Statoil takes Indonesia deep plunge

Jakarta (IOGNews) - Statoil has kicked off drilling of its first deep-water exploration well off Indonesia.

Transocean drillship Global Santa Fe Explorer is targeting the Gatotkaca prospect in the Statoil-operated Karama production sharing contract in the Makassar Strait between Sulawesi and Kalimantan after spudding the well last month, the Norwegian state oil company confirmed.

The probe, which is expected to take 60 days, is being drilled in 1500 to 2000 metres of water and is the first in a three-well campaign planned in the licence this year by Statoil and Indonesian partner Pertamina to prove up targets identified by about 2000 square kilometres of 3D seismic data acquired in 2008.

Statoil has expanded its position in Indonesia in line with a more risk-oriented exploration strategy targeting big discoveries in frontier areas and now holds interests in eight exploration licences, of which two are operatorships.

The company is prioritising so-called "high-impact" prospects - defined as those with potential resources of more than 250 million barrels of oil equivalent, or at least 100 million boe net to the operator - across its worldwide portfolio, including Indonesia.

Last year, it farmed into three PSCs in eastern Indonesia - Halmahera-Kofiau, North Makassar and West Papua IV – as a partner with a 40% interest in each licence.

It also gained partnership stakes in two other PSCs - North Ganal, in the northern part of the Makassar Strait ,and Obi, in the waters of North Maluku.

“We believe in the potential of these areas and look forward to continue to explore the area,” Statoil spokesman Baard Glad Pedersen told Upstream.

The company is also a partner in the Kuma PSC in the Makassar Strait where operator ConocoPhillips has drilled an exploration well, the results of which are still awaited.

Statoil’s Indonesia boss Tor Fjaeran told Norwegian newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad that Indonesia’s relatively unexplored deep-water play is still in its infancy.

“All the companies are at an early stage here and there is some trial and error,” he said, adding that the only find on record is a small gas discovery by ExxonMobil to the south. “Otherwise we know little about what is hidden here.”

The ultra-deepwater drillship has been contracted at a dayrate of USD 510,000 by the Marathon Oil-led Makassar Strait Explorers Consortium - also comprising Statoil, Anadarko Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, Eni and Talisman Energy – under a rig-sharing arrangement.

The unit is being used by the explorers to drill a series of exploration wells on the Sageri, Karama, Bukat, Kuma, Popodi and Pasangkayu PSCs.(Upstream)

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