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North Sea gas find for Shell

Financial Times: North Sea gas find for Shell

By Clay Harris

Published: May 24 2005

Royal Dutch Shell said it had made a “significant discovery” of gas at its Onyx South West prospect in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said the Onyx discovery could approach 60bn standard cubic metres of produceable gas, subject to determining the limits of the deposit.

Shell declined to put any figure on the size of the discovery, but Rien Herber, its exploration director for Europe, said: “There are indications that we are dealing with a significant find.”

If confirmed that at the size provisionally suggested by Norwegian authorities, Onyx would count as a “Big Cat” for Shell, meaning that its share amounted to at least 100m barrels of oil equivalent. Shell is aiming to drill 15-20 Big Cat prospects in each of 2005 and 2006.

Shell, operator of Onyx, has a 30 per cent interest, as does Norway’s Petoro. Total of France and Statoil of Norway have 20 per cent each.

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