Big Barents Oil making headway

Statoil has built up a substantial portfolio of exploration in the Barents Sea through licensing rounds and transactions. (Harald Pettersen/Statoil ASA)
Statoil has built up a substantial portfolio of exploration in the Barents Sea through licensing rounds and transactions. (Harald Pettersen/Statoil ASA)
Developments in the Barents Sea take a leap forward as Statoil buys new license stakes and OMV signals its preferred choice of platform for the Wisting field.

Statoil has announced that it is increasing its stakes in four Barents licenses, among them the prospective Wisting license (PL537). The deal is signed with Tullow Norge.

“This transaction reflects our strong belief in the exploration potential on the Norwegian continental shelf and our commitment to create value in the Barents Sea,” Jez Averty, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway and UK, says in a press release.

Two of the acquired stakes are in the Hoop structure, a promising area in the central part of the Barents Sea. After the deal, Statoil will control respectively 35 and 55 percent of the licenses. That makes it the biggest stakeholder in the Wisting license and the Hoop area.

The deal comes as the company announces that in 2017 it plans to drill between 5-7 wells in the Barents Sea.

The new momentum in the area is followed up by OMV, the Austrian company, which holds operator responsibility at Wisting. OMV now signals that it might choose to use a Sevan floating production and storage unit (FPSO) for the project. According to, the company has commissioned Sevan Marine to assess the possible application of a Sevan in the project.

If OMV chooses Sevan’s distinctive cylindrical design, it will be the second field in the Barents Sea that uses such a solution. ENI operates its Goliat project with the same floating, cylindrical production facility.

The Wisting field is one of the biggest discoveries in the Barents Sea. It was made with the rig Leiv Eriksson in 2013. It is located about 300 km north of Hammerfest, the Norwegian Arctic town.  OMV in April this year successfully drilled an appraisal well at the nearby Wisting Central II. In 2017, the company plans to drill at Gemini Nord, a structure located nearby the Wisting, E24 reports.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Energy challenges in Canada’s North, Eye on the Arctic

China:  Chinese mega-deals in Yamal LNG, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Oil minister Lien invites bids for more Arctic blocks, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Big interest in new Arctic LNG: Novatek, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden:  Sweden to have 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, Radio Sweden

United States: Oil producers balk following new study calling Alaska’s LNG project uneconomic, Alaska News Dispatch

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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