StatoilHydro has confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons in an exploration well in the Caurus prospect in the Barents Sea, 160km north-northwest of Hammerfest in North Norway.

The drilling in Caurus was carried out by the Polar Pioneer drilling rig at a water depth of 356m. Polar Pioneer will now start drilling appraisal well 7125/4-2 in the StatoilHydro operated production licence 393.

Exploration well7222/11-1 S was drilled to a total depth of 2825m below sea level and was concluded in rocks of early Triassic age. The well is now being temporarily plugged and abandoned.

The first exploration well, 7222/6-1, was drilled in January-February 2008 and confirmed hydrocarbons in the Obesum structure in the far northern part of the licence.

Another exploration well in the licence has been scheduled, which will be a delineation of the Obesum discovery scheduled for start-up in December 2008.