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Norwegian giant Statoil ASA’s (STO - Analyst Report) share price jumped 0.2% on the announcement that it has nearly completed the drilling of the Kramsno prospect (well 7220/4-1). Eni SpA (E - Analyst Report) and Petoro AS partner Statoil in this drilling venture.

The probe was drilled by the rig West Hercules at about 6 miles northwest of the 7220/8-1 Johan Castberg discovery in the Barents Sea and about 154 miles northwest of Hammerfest.

The primary exploration target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Middle and Early Jurassic formations – Sto, Nordmela and Tubaen. The secondary exploration target was to establish petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Late Triassic formation – Snadd.

The well, drilled to a vertical depth of 3,209 meters below the sea surface, hit a gross gas column of about 130 meters in the Sto and Nordmela formations. The reservoir quality was poorer than expected and did not deliver the expected oil volumes. The well hit an almost 45-meter tall gross gas column in the Snadd formation.

Per the initial calculations, the find is estimated to hold 2–4 billion standard cubic meters of recoverable gas. The prospects chosen for the campaign will examine diverse play models in various geological settings and are independent of each other.

This is the sixth exploration well in PL 532, which will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. The license was awarded in the 20th licensing round in 2009.

Statoil had planned on drilling five wells around the Johan Castberg field and has almost approached the end of this program. To date, it has drilled four wells, of which only one resulted in an oil discovery. Drivis, is the last prospect to be drilled under this campaign.

Statoil, the operator of PL532, owns 50%. Eni SpA and Petoro AS hold 30% and 20%, respectively.

Statoil carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the oil and gas sector include Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (HP - Analyst Report) and Matrix Service Company (MTRX - Snapshot Report). Both these stocks hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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