The company drilled two Asha Noor appraisal wells 16/1-16 and its delineation 16/1-16 A in production licence PL 457 about 3km east of the 16/1-9 discovery well in the Ivar Aasen discovery and about 3km north of the Edvard Grieg field.

Wintershall spud 16/1-16 to a vertical depth of 2,722m and 16/1-16 A to 2,683m below mean sea level and terminated the wells in the Permian Rotliegendes and the Triassic Skagerrak Formation.

The preliminary estimates of the wells indicate about 20 to 40 million barrels of recoverable oil.

The company has performed extensive coring, sampling and data acquisition and the results will be evaluated to further determine the commercial potential of the discovery.

Wintershall Exploration and Production board member Martin Bachmann said the firm has plans to increase its daily production in the Norwegian continental shelf from 4,000 to 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent by 2015.

"Asha Noor is our third oil discovery in Norway in the last 12 months. After our discoveries with the Maria appraisal well and Skarfjell, the Asha Noor discovery provides further confirmation that the Utsira High region offers considerable potential," Bachmann added.

Asha Noor is Wintershall’s first well in the production licence PL 457 and it holds the operatorship of the license with 40% interest in it. E.ON, Bridge Energy, and VNG each holds 20% interest in the license.