Second Barents Sea oil discovery this spring

A 2019 file photo of Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup oilfield platforms and accommodation jack-up rig in the North Sea off Norway. The new finding will be considered linked to the Johan Castberg field with planned production start in 2024 (Ints Kalnins/Reuters).

Operator of Skavl Stø exploration well, Equinor, announces the finding of more oil just two weeks after last significant discovery in the same area.

Also this new finding will be considered linked to the Johan Castberg field with planned production start in 2024. The Skavl Stø well is located five kilometers south-southeast of the Johan Castberg field.

“The new discovery and information will be viewed in the light of other discoveries in the area, and together with our partners we will consider further development of the area,” said Kristin Westvik, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration and production north.

Skavl Stø is the thirteenth exploration well in the Johan Castberg license, awarded for drilling in 2009.

Equinor holds a 50% stake of the license, with Vår Energy (30%) and Petoro (20%) making up the rest of the partnership.

Criticism

Norway has been criticized by environmental groups for its comprehensive Arctic oil drilling in times of climate crisis. Also, the groups argue, the Barents Sea differs from other areas of the Norwegian shelf by darkness during the winter months as well as icing, frozen equipment, and possibilities for drifting ice, especially in the northern parts of the Barents Sea.

Just hours before Equinor and partner petroleum companies announced the new finding, Statistics Norway published the 2021 figures on climate gasses emissions showing a decrease of 0,3 percent year by year.

That puts the petroleum-hungry country way behind its goal set by the Paris Climate Agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to 1990. The Norwegian Government’s own goal is a reduction of 55% by 2030.

According to Statistics Norway, emissions are so far down by 4,5% compared to 1990.

Related stories from around the North:

Alaska: Alaska’s largest oil producer asks judge to block release of drilling info from NPR-A, Alaska Public Media

Canada: N.W.T. gov’t agreed to sell its tungsten mining project — and could make $15M from it, CBC News

Norway: First tanker in 20 months embarks to energy hungry Europe, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia proceeds with Arctic project as oil embargo looms, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Biden closes half of NPR-A acreage in Arctic Alaska to oil drilling, Alaska Public Media.

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

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

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