Statoil has encountered gas in an exploration well north of the Mikkel field in the Norwegian Sea. The company said that the discovery is being considered for development as a satellite to the Asgard field.

The gas deposit was confirmed through the drilling of exploration well 6407/2-6 S, some 5kms north of the Mikkel field and 200km north of Kristiansund. The well confirmed the existence of gas with a small oil column in the Tilje formation.

Geir Richardsen, head of Statoil’s exploration of infrastructure-led areas in the Norwegian Sea, said: “This again shows how prospective this area is.”

Data acquisition and sampling are now being performed. Preliminary estimations of the size of the gas discovery suggest between 2 and 4 million standard cubic metres of recoverable oil equivalent reserves.

The licensees in the exploration license will consider various development solutions producing the discovery towards existing infrastructure on the Asgard field.

The well is the first exploration well in the Statoil-operated production license 473 awarded in 2007. The drilling is now completed and the well will be permanently plugged and abandoned, the company said.