Finally large Barents oil discovery

Polar Pioneer oil rig

Statoil says the discovery is a breakthrough in the Barents Sea and one of the most important events on the Norwegian continental shelf in the last ten years.


After several dry wells over the last three decades, a significant oil discovery 200 kilometres north of the coast of Finnmark was announced by Statoil on Friday. And this is no April 1st joke.

The company says in a press release the Skrugard prospect is believed to contain recoverable reserves of 150 to 250 million barrels of oil equivalent. Statoil says the upside in the licence can be even bigger.

- The discovery on Skrugard is significant and a breakthrough for the frontier-exploration in the Barents Sea, says vice-president for explorations in Statoil Tim Dodson.

Statoil holds a 50 percent stake in the licence; Eni Norway has 30 percent and Petoro the last 20 percent.

So far, more than 80 wells have been drilled in the southern part of the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea. So far, Snøhvit gas field is the only in production, while Eni Norway’s Goliat oil field is under development.

The discovery is announced the same day as the King in Council in Oslo made the final ratification of the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean maritime delimitation treaty with Russia.

With the move, the treaty is now only awaiting the Russian Presidential signature, supposed to come any day soon after the upper house of the Russian parliament this Wednesday approved the ratification of the deal with Norway.

The maritime border areas in the Barents Sea is highly interesting for petroleum companies and the Norwegian government says it will start collecting petroleum related date from the area as soon as the ratification is formally in place. This will be after exchange of ratification documents between the two countries.