Maersk farms into Norwegian Sea license

Maersk Oil has acquired from Wintershall a 20% interest in license PL435 in the Norwegian Sea.

Offshore staff

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Maersk Oil has acquired from Wintershall a 20% interest in license PL435 in the Norwegian Sea.

The acreage is between the producing Heidrun field and the Victoria discovery, close to the Åsgard field complex. An exploration well is due to spud later this month, which, if successful, will be followed by a second well in 2011. The other partners in the license are RWE (40% and operator), Noreco (20%) and Edison (20%).

Maersk Oil has interests in eight licenses offshore Norway, and has ambitions for fasttrack growth in this sector.

Offshore Denmark, the company and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have received reports suggesting that an oil sheen, identified two days ago by reconnaissance planes close to the Dan field facilities, is significantly reduced in size.

“Maersk Oil reacted quickly and fully to reports of the oil sheen, carrying out a number of tests in the seawater and investigation into its Dan facilities,” said Franz Willum Sørensen, the company’s senior vice president.

“However, as a precautionary measure, we will still deploy a 1,200-m (3,937-ft) floating boom barrier until we are sure that there is no oil sheen on the sea surface. (Maersk Oil had earlier agreed with the EPA to deploy the barrier as part of its inquest into the causes of the sheen.)

The company will continue to investigate why the sheen appeared, and whether its appearance was caused by the recent calm and sunny weather in the area, which would have heightened visibility of any oil on the sea surface.

Maersk Oil maintains that through out this week, regular tests have showed that the oil content in the water was below a limit set by the EPA. On Thursday that level was 3-14 mg/liter, compared with the official limit of 30 mg/l.

The company also conducted a fingerprint analysis of the seawater, although samples showed the water contained too small an amount of oil for the test to be conclusive.
Maersk Oil’s detailed investigation carried out by experts sent to the Dan facility on Wednesday did not identify any irregularities in our operations.


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