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Norway increases oil and gas estimates by 15%

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Staff writer ▼ | February 27, 2013
Norway oilNorway raised its estimate for undiscovered resources in the Barents Sea and the area surrounding Jan Mayen by 15 percent, however there are indications that petroleum volumes could be even greater.


The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's (NPD) estimate that undiscovered resources on the Norwegian shelf corresponds to about 390 million standard cubic metres (Sm3) of oil equivalents (o.e.). The mapped area in the southeastern Barents Sea along the Russian border constitutes about 44,000 square kilometres.

The NPD's calculations show that expected resources total approximately 300 million Sm3 o.e. This means that the most pessimistic estimates lie at the low end of the spectrum, but that the petroleum volumes present could be considerably greater. Most of the resources in this part of the Barents Sea are expected to be gas. About 15 per cent are expected to be oil.

The Bjarmeland Platform furthest north and the Fedinsky High in the east are considered to be pure gas provinces, while the Nordkapp Basin, Tiddlybank Basin and Finnmark Platform are considered to be combined oil and gas provinces. On the Fedinsky High, there is a possibility of petroleum deposits that span across the border between Norway and Russia.

The geological knowledge of the southeastern Barents Sea is relatively limited, as no exploration wells have been drilled and shallow scientific drilling has not yet been carried out in the area. However, a number of wells have been drilled in the open part of the southern Barents Sea, both scientific, shallow stratigraphic wells and commercial exploration wells.

In the opened part of the Barents Sea and the northern Barents Sea, the expected figure for undiscovered resources is 960 million Sm3 o.e. This is equal to 37 percent of the undiscovered resources on the Norwegian shelf. The northeastern Barents Sea, which is also part of the new Norwegian sea area, is almost as large as the southern part.

The expected resources in the Jan Mayen area are estimated at 90 million Sm3 o.e. The estimates indicate that there could be considerable resources in the area. The NPD's estimate indicates an upside of 460 million Sm3 o.e. Correspondingly, the lower end of the estimates indicate that it is uncertain whether any hydrocarbons will be found in the area at all.

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