July 2, 2012 / 8:36 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Statoil makes big N.Sea gas and condensate find

* King Lear discovery lies north of Ekofisk field

* Recoverable reserves estimated at 70-200 mln boe (Adds analyst, detail, background)

OSLO, July 2 (Reuters) - Statoil has made a significant gas and condensate discovery in the King Lear prospect in the North Sea, its eighth "high impact" find in 15 months, the company said on Monday.

King Lear lies about 20 kilometres north of the Ekofisk, home of the first commercial oil find on the Norwegian continental shelf, supporting Statoil's strategy of revitalising mature areas.

The firm said it estimates the total volumes in King Lear to be between 70 and 200 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent (boe).

"It is very positive that they make a 100-million-plus discovery on the Norwegian continental shelf. It doesn't happen that often, at least not in the North Sea," said Helge Andre Martinsen, analyst at Nordea Markets.

Operator Statoil holds a 77.8 percent stake in the production licences while Total has the remaining 22.2 percent.

Exploration wells have proven a 48-metre gas and condensate column in upper Jurassic sandstone in the Farsund formation, and an additional 70-metre column in the side track, the company said.

Statoil said it would look into whether to develop the gas discovery as a stand-alone or as a tie-in to the existing infrastructure in the area.

The company considers a "high impact" discovery to be over 100 million boe net for Statoil or over 250 million boe in total with partners.

Other high-impact discoveries made by Statoil over the last 15 months are Zafarani and Lavani in Tanzania, Skrugard and Havis in the Barents Sea, Johan Sverdrup in the North Sea, and Peregrino South in Brazil. (Reporting by Victoria Klesty and Nerijus Adomaitis; Additional reporting by Henrik Oliver Stolen; editing by Jason Neely)

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