Norwegian oil association is happy, while Greenpeace in Stockholm warns Lundin’s shareholders.
Lundin Petroleum says the Neiden prospect in the Barents Sea holds between 25 and 60 million barrels of oil equivalents.
“The well encountered a gross 31 metres hydrocarbon column, with 21 metres of oil and 10 metres gas in the Permian target,” Lundin writes in a press-release.
The discovery is good news for the Swedish oil company that already has announced drilling of at least four more exploration wells in the Barents Sea next year.
Arctic waters north of Norway are among the top strategic priorities for the Swedish oilmen.
Regional Manager of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, Geir Seljeseth, says the discovery is important.
“Once again, the Barents Sea delivers what will provide growth and prosperity in the north. New discoveries triggers favourable onditions for Norway’s largest industry in the north,” Seljeseth says.
North of Goliat
Neiden prospect is at 72° 34’ North, some 200 kilometres north of mainland Norway. The discovery is further north than the Goliat field, today’s northernmost offshore oil field in production anywhere in the circumpolar Arctic.
Swedish environmentalists are not at all pleased with Lundin’s Arctic drilling.
“Lundin’s continued exploration for oil and gas in the Arctic is completely out of line with simple climate math,” says Frode Pleym, Head of Greenpeace Sweden.
He agrues that the fossil fuel industry has already pushed global climate to the brink of disaster.
“The outcome of the Paris Agreement was crystal clear with the world agreeing to pursue limits in average global warming to 1.5 degrees. Already discovered oil and gas will need to stay in the ground. There is no legitimate excuse for Lundin here; continued search for oil and gas is a deliberate atrocity towards those most vulnerable to climate change in the pursuit of profit,” Pleym says to the Barents Observer.
“Stock value in jeopardy”
“We need a speedy transition to renewable energy and that means that we must stop drilling for the last drops of oil from vulnerable areas. Lundin Oil should be concerned about their public image and ultimately stock value by continuing to be a company of the past,” the Head of Greenpeace Sweden says.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is informed about the discovery and says in a statement that preliminary estimations of the size range between 3 and 7 million standard cubic metres of recoverable oil and between 1 and 2 billion standard cubic metres of recoverable gas.
30 large supertankers
7 million cubic metres of oil are equivalent to 60 million barrels, or 30 of the largest supertankers sailing world oceans. One supertanker carries 2 million barrels.
The well was drilled with the “Leiv Eiriksson” drilling rig and the water depth at site is 387 metres.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Time to invest in renewable energy for Arctic communities: WWF-Canada, Radio Canada International
Russia: Minister Rehn not worried about Russian energy dependency, Yle News
Norway: Focus on green energy in the Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: No alternative to Arctic oil says Russia environment minister, Barents Observer
Sweden: Sweden to have 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, Radio Sweden
United States: Caelus Energy CEO calls offshore Arctic oil discovery a ‘game-changer’, Alaska Dispatch News