China enters the Barents Sea

Aker Barents drilling rig (Photo Det Norske)

The Heilo field 40 kilometers north of Honningsvåg in Finnmark County is believed to hold 100-300 million barrels of oil.


The biggest shareholder in Heilo is Gas de France Suez (GdF Suez). Repsol and Rocksource are also partners in the project. The Chinese state company China Investment Corporation recently bought 30 percent of the oil and gas division in GdF Suez, thus bringing the Chinese state indirect access to the oil and gas activities in the Barents Sea.

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- We have great confidence that we can find oil, but it is hard to say how much, so this is exciting, says CEO Erik Karlstrøm in North Energy to Fremover. The company has a 20 percent stake in the field, the same has Front Exploration. The two Northern Norwegian oil companies are going to cooperate on drilling at Heilo.

Exploration drilling will be conducted by the rig “Aker Barents”, and is expected to start in a short time. Drilling will continue for 50 days, after which “Aker Barents” will go in to the Zappfe prospect nearby the Goliat field.