LONDON, May 22 -- Statoil Exploration Ireland Ltd. has spudded the first wildcat on the Sarsfield prospect west of Ireland.
Transocean Sedco Forex Inc.'s Sovereign Explorer semisubmersible is drilling the well.
Statoil expected operations to take 52 days. The well is in 650 m of water in Porcupine basin license 8/95 off County Kerry. Results will be returned in the autumn.
The Sarsfield well is the first to be drilled by Statoil on the Irish continental shelf since 1997, said Egil Endresen, managing director of Statoil Exploration Ireland.
Drilling Sarsfield is part of Statoil's operations on the Atlantic Margin, which extends from west of Ireland to northern Norway, considered by the company to be one of its "most important" international exploration provinces.
Statoil Exploration Ireland has a 38% interest in Sarsfield, with Conoco Inc., Enterprise Energy Ireland PLC, and Dana Petroleum PLC as its partners.