"This may well be a new oil province," said Gro Haatvedt, the company's senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf, told NRK.
"This is the first well drilled in the frontier Hoop area. It gives us valuable geological information and demonstrates that the Hoop area has an exciting oil potential."
The find, 310 kilometres north of the town of Hammerfest, is the most northerly commercially viable oil discovery yet to be made on the Norwegian continental shelf.
The wild-cat exploration well, called Wisting Central, was drilled by Austrian oil company OMV, and is expected to hold as much as 160m barrels of recoverable oil.
"The well results are a breakthrough for the regional exploration activities, as the presence of good quality oil shows the possible large potential of an area which will see more exploration drilling in the near future," OMV said in its press release announcing the find.
OMV is the operator of the exploration license with a 25 percent stake. Statoil has a 15 percent stake, and Petoro, Idemitsu and Tullow oil hold 20 percent each.