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Statoil confirms two new oil discoveries off Newfoundland and Labrador

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Statoil says a 19-month drilling campaign in the Flemish Pass off the coast of Newfoundland resulted in two discoveries of oil in the Bay du Nord area.

The Norwegian company says in a statement the discoveries, at the Bay de Verde and Baccalieu prospects, have reduced uncertainty about the commercial potential of the field.

Reserves for the Bay du Nord site were originally estimated between 300 and 600 million barrels, and Statoil says it appears the final volumes will be at the lower end of that range.

Nine wells were drilled near the discovery, about 500 kilometres east of St. John’s, N.L. Only 17 wells in total have been drilled in the Flemish Pass Basin, a harsh environment.

A senior vice-president for Statoil Exploration said the company was encouraged by the new discoveries.

“This drilling campaign has been critical both to maturing the Bay du Nord discovery as well as evolving our knowledge of the greater basin and Newfoundland offshore – which remains a core exploration area for Statoil,” said Erling Vagnes in a release.

The drilling program began in November 2014 and was extended by a month to allow for the drilling of the Baccalieu well.

Statoil says it is still assessing the commercial potential of the Bay du Nord discovery.

“The recent drilling program has been critical to Statoil’s continued assessment of Bay du Nord, and work is underway to evaluate the results related to proceeding with a potential Statoil-operated development in the Flemish Pass Basin,” said Paul Fulton, president of Statoil Canada.