Tullow Oil plc ("Tullow") announces that the Wisting Central exploration well (7324/8-1), offshore Norway, has made the first ever oil discovery in the Hoop-Maud Basin area of the Barents Sea.

Results of drilling, wireline logs and samples of reservoir fluids show that the well has encountered 50-60 metres of net oil pay in good quality relatively shallow Middle to Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks. Following evaluation of the results, further delineation of the discovery and exploration drilling in the licence will be required.

The well was drilled by the Leiv Eiriksson semi submersible rig and is located approximately 170 kilometres northeast of the Skrugard/Johan Castberg discovery well and 310 kilometres north of Hammerfest. The well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 905 metres in a water depth of 373 metres. Following significant data acquisition, the well will be plugged and abandoned and the rig will move to drill the Wisting Main (Kobbe) wildcat well in the same production licence.

Njord A Platform by Tom Jervis via Wikimedia Commons

Njord A Platform by Tom Jervis via Wikimedia Commons

The Wisting Central discovery is located in licence PL537 in which Tullow has a 20% interest. OMV (Norge) are the operator with a 25% interest while Idemitsu (20%), Statoil (15%) and Petoro (20%) are also partners.

Angus McCoss, Exploration Director, Tullow Oil plc commented today, "This is a major frontier light oil discovery for Norway, Tullow Oil and our coventurers. The Wisting Central wildcat well has opened the Hoop-Maud Basin by proving a new shallow play in the region. This discovery also demonstrates the effectiveness of leading edge exploration techniques, pioneered by Tullow's Norwegian exploration team, that combine shallow seismic and electromagnetic survey data in the search for oil. We look forward to pursuing the exciting exploration and appraisal follow up arising from this breakthrough oil discovery."

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