Statoil holds a 35 percent share in the Goilat field, Norway's first oil production in the Barents Sea. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Statoil takes a second year Barents Sea break

Norway’s oil major returns to Arctic waters at the earliest in 2017.
November 24, 2015

Statoil’s executive vice president for exploration, Tim Dodson, told Bloomberg that the company’s next drilling in the Barents Sea will at earliest be when receiving new acreage in the upcoming licensing round.

After a disappointing Barents Sea test-drilling season in 2014, combined with a plunge in oil prices, offshore Arctic drilling is not highest on the agenda for Statoil. Recently, the state-owned company also withdraw from exploration leases in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska. In September, also Shell ended its $7 billion drilling efforts in the Chukchi Sea.

“In the Barents Sea, we’ve more or less tested the opportunity set which we have,” Tim Dodson says to Bloomberg.

Today, Statoil is the only petroleum company with production in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea. The Snøhvit natural gas field delivers gas to Hammerfest LNG plant in Finnmark.

First oil production will be Eni’s Goliat field. The platform is already in place, but production has been delayed several times and is now set to start in late December. Statoil holds a 35 percent share in the license. 

Norwegian authorities want more oil drilling in the Barents Sea and have opened the eastern- and northeastern part of the Norwegian sector for exploration and test drilling. 

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