Statoil makes new oil find in North Sea

Norwegian energy giant Statoil has made a discovery in a North Sea prospect that it believes will yield 140 to 270 million barrels of oil equivalents.

Statoil makes new oil find in North Sea
Statoil's Gro Haatvedt comments on a previous find (File photo: Haral Pettersen/Statoil).

Working with partners Petoro, Det norske oljeselskap and Lundin, Statoil said the find resulted from drilling on Utsira High in the Geitungen prospect in the North Sea.

"A new oil discovery in the Johan Sverdrup area, in the mature part of the North Sea reinforces Statoil's faith in the exploration potential of the Norwegian continental shelf, and demonstrates that we deliver on our strategy of revitalizing the NCS with high value barrels," said Gro Haatvedt, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway, in a statement.

Statoil said the Ocean Vanguard drilling rig had uncovered the 35-metre oil column in a high quality reservoir dating from the Jurassic period.

"The Geitungen discovery will be included in the on-going development work for the Johan Sverdrup field. The discovery should therefore be seen in relation with the on-going appraisal programme in Johan Sverdrup to narrow down the volume range and uncertainty", said Øivind Reinersten, Statoil vice president for development of the Johan Sverdrup field.

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‘Call me Equinor’: Statoil changes name

Norway's largest oil company Statoil officially changed its name to Equinor on Wednesday as it forges ahead with its drive into renewable energy.

'Call me Equinor': Statoil changes name
CEO Eldar Sætre presents the name change in Stavanger. Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB Scanpix

Proposed in March and adopted on Tuesday at the shareholders' general meeting, the name change allows the company to take a step back — at least in name — from the Norwegian state, which owns 67 percent of its shares, and from oil. 

Equinor is meant to combine the idea of equity and equilibrium (“equi”) and geographical origin (“nor”) for Norway.

Founded in 1972 to operate Norway's large oil fields, the company — which is listed on both the Oslo and New York stock exchanges — is now active in renewable energies, including wind farms off the UK coast.

The group has earmarked 15-20 percent of its investments to “new energy solutions” by 2030.

But this shift has been cold shouldered by environmentalists concerned about global warming as they accuse the company of “green washing”.

“Statoil name change to attract young talent will not be sufficient as long as Equinor is exploring in vulnerable areas, such as the Arctic or the Great Australian Bight,” tweeted Truls Gulowsen, leader for Greenpeace in Norway.

READ ALSO: Norway pledges to spend less oil money in new budget