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Billions Of Barrels Of Undiscovered Oil May Lie Under Barents Sea

Barents sea oil

The latest 3D seismic surveys suggest that there may be billions of barrels of undiscovered oil in the Barents Sea, according to a geology and geophysics expert in an interview with Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

“If all the projections are correct and all uncertainties turn out positive so we are talking about billions of barrels,” Kristian Kråkenes, VP Geology & Geophysics at Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), was quoted as saying.

KUFPEC, a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, operates in Norway with minority stakes in four fields.

The 3D data gives a much better picture than previous two-dimensional images, the expert said. Several large and reasonably shallow areas may contain oil, including the area close to the Norwegian-Russian delimitation line in the southeastern part of the Barents Sea, the expert noted.

In May of this year, Norway – which had not offered exploration licenses for new acreage in over twenty years – awarded 10 new oil and gas licenses to explore the untapped area of the Arctic Barents Sea.

The drilling licenses consist of 40 blocks that were awarded to 13 oil companies. Of the licenses granted, 13 companies were offered participating interests, and five were offered operating licenses.

Norway’s Statoil (NYSE:STO) was awarded five licenses, four as operator and one as partner.

At the end of August, Statoil said that it would seek to carry out a major exploration campaign in several parts of the Barents Sea next year and was working to get approval from partners and authorities for the exploration campaign covering between five and seven wells.

The company’s 2013-2014 comprehensive exploration campaign in the Barents Sea resulted in no new impact discoveries, it said, adding that it sees “promising prospects in different parts of the Barents Sea” for the 2017 campaign.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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