Statoil, together with PL532 partners, has discovered oil and gas in the Drivis prospect in the Barents Sea, marking the conclusion of the 2013/2014 exploration program in the Johan Castberg field.

Drilled by the rig West Hercules, Well 7220/7-3 S has confirmed a 68m gross gas column in the Stø formation and an 86m gross oil column in the Stø and Nordmela formations.

Statoil initiated a targeted exploration campaign around the Johan Castberg field in May 2013 aimed to clarify additional oil potential in the area and make the development project more robust.

The exploration campaign, which involved five wells, lasted for 12 months.

Statoil Norwegian continental shelf exploration senior vice president Irene Rummelhoff said five wells have been drilled back-to-back, providing important subsurface information and a good understanding of the total resource base in the area for the company.

"Over the past year we have made a significant exploration effort in the Johan Castberg area," Rummelhoff added.

"Out of the five wells drilled only two have resulted in oil discoveries."

Statoil northern Norway field development vice president Erik Strand Tellefsen said, "We will now work closely with our licence partners to analyse the findings of the exploration programme and what those mean for the Johan Castberg development project."

Statoil is operator for production licence PL532 with an ownership share of 50% while the license partners include Eni Norge AS (30%) and Petoro AS (20%).