• Norway edition
 

Record interest in Barents Sea oil and gas

Published: 23 Jan 2012 16:36 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Jan 2012 16:37 GMT+01:00

Norway's government said on Monday it had seen record interest for new oil and gas prospecting in the Barents Sea, considered an Arctic "promised land" for an industry facing dwindling reserves in the North Sea.

In response to a call to nominate the areas they wanted to see opened to licensing, oil and gas companies suggested 181 blocks -- "the highest ever number" -- in the Barents Sea, out of the total 228 blocks suggested, the Norwegian petroleum and energy ministry said in a statement.

"Particular interest has been shown in our northernmost sea areas, confirming that the Barents Sea is an exciting and internationally attractive petroleum province," Petroleum and Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe said in the statement.

"This represents major opportunities for the entire region," he added.

The announcement came after Norwegian energy giant Statoil said it had made a major new discovery in the largely unexplored Barents Sea of two major deposits, Skrugard and Havis, believed to hold between 400 and 600 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Along with French groups Total and GDF Suez, Statoil is also already operating the Snoehvit gas field in the Arctic waters, where Italian Eni is also working the Goliat oil field.

The region is considered so promising that the oil and gas industry is considering building a 1,000-kilometre sub-sea pipeline, at an estimated cost of around 25 billion kroner ( $4.24
billion), to connect the new fields with the existing pipeline network further south.

A total of 37 companies had submitted proposals for licensing blocks in Norway's 22nd licensing round, the government said on Monday.

Based on the companies' suggestions, the petroleum and energy ministry aims to offer new licences during the first half of 2013.

Norway is the world's seventh largest oil exporter and ranks second in terms of natural gas exports.

However, its production of the black gold has been steadily declining since its peak in 2001, leading industry players to demand the opening of new prospecting areas in the Arctic, something environmentalists oppose.

According to the US Geological Survey, the Arctic is believed to hold 13 percent of the planet's undiscovered oil reserves and 30 percent of the undiscovered natural gas.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway teen has lived in cave for a year
da Beate Løken in her cave. Photo: Screen Grab Romerikes Blad TV

Norway teen has lived in cave for a year

A 19-year-old girl from the most fjord-filled region of Western Norway has been living a cave for almost a year with little but a high-grade sleeping bag to get her through the gruelling Norwegian winter. READ () »

Plumber stabbed workmate after gay jibe
Court psychiatrist Terje Tørrissen ruled the plumber was not psychotic. Photo: Håkon Mosvsvold Larsen / Scanpix NTB

Plumber stabbed workmate after gay jibe

A plumber in Norway has been sentenced to compulsory mental care after he drew a knife on his colleague and stabbed him ten times in the head and torso after the man called him a "grumpy little gay". READ () »

Hikers to wear green hats if 'open to romance'
Nils Øverås, secretary general of the Norwegian Trekking Association and Hanna Melhus, head of the organization's youth wing, posing for the April Fools message. Photo: Norwegian Trekking Association

Hikers to wear green hats if 'open to romance'

An April Fools joke in which the Norwegian Trekking Association declared that all single people hiking over the Easter break should wear a green hat if they're open to romance triggered such a huge reaction that the association has decided to institute it for real. READ () »

Excavator operator gets $2,000 after outcry
John Erik Tveitdal shows off the money he found in the safe he broke open. Photo: Norsk Gjenvinning Group

Excavator operator gets $2,000 after outcry

The businessman who mistakenly dumped an old safe containing 117,000 kroner ($19,200) at a recycling centre has given a 12,000 kroner reward to the excavator operator who cracked it open and found the money. READ () »

'They loved nature: that's why they were there'
Helicopter comes with three of the four missing men found in the landslide area in Sunndalsfjella. Photo: Berit Roald / Scanpix NTB

'They loved nature: that's why they were there'

Henning Nilsen, 37, from Trondheim, has told Adressa.no of his grief at losing two of his best friends in the avalanche in the Sunndalsfjella mountains on Monday. READ () »

Three boys arrested for taping girl to  railing
Russ in Oslo in 2012. None of these people were involved in taping a girl to a bar. PHOTO: Berit Keilen / NTB SCANPIX

Three boys arrested for taping girl to railing

Police have arrested three out-of-contol Norwegian high-school students after they taped a 17-year-old girl to a railing in a park in Sandnes, south of Bergen, and pelted her with eggs and flour. READ () »

Union could take 1,300 Norwegian staff on strike
One of Norwegian's new Dreamliners arriving from New York at Stockholm Arlanda airport - Johan Nilsson / NTB Scanpix

Union could take 1,300 Norwegian staff on strike

Norway's Parat Union has threatened to take more than 1,300 Norwegian Airlines employees out on strike if the airline does not agree to a joint collective bargaining agreement for the cabin crew by April 30. READ () »

Police free Norwegians jailed for wolf hunt

Police free Norwegians jailed for wolf hunt

The three Norwegians jailed last week pending trial for taking part in an illegal wolf hunt were released on Wednesday, allowing them to spend Easter with their families. READ () »

Video
Norway's Solli gets the weirdest yellow card ever
Jan Gunnar Solli when playing for the New York Bulls. Photo: Joscarfas/Wikimedia Commons

Norway's Solli gets the weirdest yellow card ever

Norwegian footballer Jan Gunnar Solli displayed some unorthodox ball play on Monday evening, catching a pass by lifting up his football shirt and slipping the ball inside. Sadly, the referee didn't see the funny side and promptly served Solli with a yellow card, READ () »

Norway PM backs gay church weddings
Prime Minister Erna Solberg in Parliament in Oslo on Wednesday morning. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB Scanpix

Norway PM backs gay church weddings

Norway's Prime Minister has declared her support for gay church weddings, although she argues the decision on whether to allow them is up to the Church of Norway. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
VIDEO: Norway police's chilled way with drunk wows US
Education
VIDEO: Norway skydiver dodges meteorite
National
Oslo shortlisted for Green Capital 2016
International
Work to start on world's tallest wooden house
Culture
NRK boss: Slow TV 'difficult to joke with'
International
Stoltenberg named as next Nato boss
Society
'Silly walk' sign enrages roads agency
Norwegian tattoos McDonald's bill on arm
Sport
Norwegian man 'forgets' luxury boat for two years
Society
VIDEO: Oslo transformed into miniature city
International
GALLERY: Nato troops' Arctic 'selfies'
International
Feature: Why Jens Stoltenberg is a natural choice for Nato
Advertisement:
International
Norwegian troops get unisex dorms
Travel & Tourism
Trolltunga 'most stunning place for a selfie'
Society
Caffeine-fuelled game binge puts boy in coma
Culture
VIDEO: Norway's 'reality TV with wild birds'
Culture
VIDEO: Bouncer wins Norway Eurovision spot
Culture
VIDEO: Norway fans in awesome Sherlock skit
National
Two new Oslo eateries win Michelin stars
International
Masked Russians seized our gear: Norway journos
National
Lingo cops beat sweet maker in jelly-baby battle
International
US court gives Norway Bieber fraudster 11 years
Society
VIDEO: 7-year-old channels Billie Holiday
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

325
jobs available