The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said it gave Statoil permission to drill a North Sea wildcat well, a well in an area not known to contain a proved oil field.
"The drilling program for wellbore 30/9-25 concerns the drilling of a wildcat well in production license 104," the NPD said in a statement Monday. "The permit is contingent upon the operator having secured all other permits and consents required by other authorities before the drilling starts."
Statoil had no corresponding statement. The NPD said Statoil is the operator in the area alongside national and multinational corporations, including Total and ConocoPhillips
Statoil last month said its financial performance was hurt by lower market prices for natural gas during the second quarter of the year. Statoil President Helge Lund said the company was keen on maintaining a high level of activity on the Norwegian continental shelf.
"The activity level on new field developments is high," he said in a statement.