Statoil may stop drilling in U.S. Gulf of Mexico: report

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s Statoil is considering whether to end its costly search for oil and gas in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the company’s exploration chief told financial daily Dagens Naeringsliv (DN) on Friday.

Statoil has been part of several discoveries in the region as a junior licence partner, but the company has failed to strike oil in the drilling campaigns it has operated, despite spending billions of dollars.

“Even if the fields we have are paying off, the Statoil-operated exploration campaign could so far be characterized as a failure,” Tim Dodson told DN.

“We’ll consider whether to and how to proceed,” he said.

Statoil’s latest well in the region was drilled some 18 months ago and the company will not spud any in 2017.

A Statoil spokesman told Reuters the company is evaluating its work in the region and that no decision has been made on whether or not to continue drilling there as an operator.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by Jason Neely