Statoil makes 3rd oil find in Newfoundland's Flemish Pass

The most recent discovery in the frontier field off Canada's East Coast is "very encouraging," company officials say.

Discovery involves Bay du Nord prospect 500 kms northeast of St. John's

Statoil has again struck oil in a frontier field off Newfoundland.

The Norwegian company announced Tuesday it has discovered crude at Bay du Nord, located in the Flemish Pass basin about 500 kilometres northeast of St. John’s.

"The success of Bay du Nord is the result of an ambitious and targeted drilling campaign in the Flemish Pass basin," Statoil Exploration executive vice-president Tim Dodson said in a news release.

"This discovery is very encouraging."

It’s the third recent success for Statoil in the area.

Earlier this year, the company found oil at its Harpoon prospect, about 10 kilometres from Bay du Nord.

Prior to that, in 2009, the company made a significant discovery at the nearby Mizzen field.

Statoil officials have estimated there are 150 million barrels of recoverable oil at Mizzen.

In June, a senior Statoil official said the Mizzen discovery put the company more than halfway to the amount of recoverable oil needed to make production viable in the Flemish Pass.

Statoil has yet to release any figures on how much oil it believes it has found at nearby Harpoon and Bay du Nord.

Statoil is using the West Aquarius deepwater drilling rig for exploration activities in Newfoundland's Flemish Pass. (CNW Group/Statoil Canada Limited)

The Mizzen, Harpoon and Bay du Nord structures in the Flemish Pass "are close enough together to give significant synergies, should we be doing development in the area," Statoil’s senior vice-president of exploration for North America, Erik Finnstrom, said in June.

Comments like those have raised industry hopes for an as-yet untapped region of the Newfoundland offshore.

All three producing fields — and Hebron, which will become the fourth — are located in the Jeanne d’Arc basin.

The Flemish Pass represents a new frontier.

Statoil says it plans to return to the area for further appraisal drilling in the future.

The Bay du Nord and Harpoon wells were drilled by the semi-submersible rig West Aquarius, both in approximately 1,100 metres of water.

Statoil is the operator of Bay du Nord and Harpoon, with a 65 per cent interest. Husky Energy holds the other 35 per cent.