“If all the projections are correct and all uncertainties turns out positive so we are talking about billions of barrels,” Kristian Kråkenes told broadcaster NRK.
Kråkenes is the head of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (Kufpec), which is the international operation of Kuwait's state oil company, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.
The potential discovery is a result of a new technology used in the latest seismic surveys in the area.
“Previously you mostly had a two-dimensional image created by lines crisscrossing. Now however, we have 3D data that gives us a much better picture,” Kråkanes explained.
“We see several areas that are reasonably shallow, which are large in size and may contain reservoirs. This includes the area near the Norwegian-Russian delimitation line in the southeast of the Barents Sea,” Kråkenes said.
Statoil's exploration manager Jez Averty, said a major discovery of new oil in the the north would naturally be very important to the state-owned company.
“But the Barents Sea is even more important for Norway as a nation, because that's where the greatest potential for a future discovery of a large volume lies,” Avery said.
Norway's biggest field, Statfjord, has produced five billion barrels of oil since its inception in the late 1970s.