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OIL AND GAS
Barents Sea yields little for Norway's Statoil
by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington (UPI) Aug 7, 2017


Norwegian energy company Statoil said Monday it was upbeat about finding more oil and natural gas despite disappointing results in the Barents Sea.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate confirmed a minor discovery in the so-called Hoop Area in the Barents Sea. Known as a wildcat well, one drilled into an area not previously known to hold oil and gas reserves, the NPD said only minor reserves were found at the site, located about 20 miles northeast of a proved discovery.

Statoil said it was looking for both oil and natural gas, but only uncovered small amounts of gas. The NPD said the discovery was "not profitable as of today."

Jez Averty, the senior vice president in charge of regional exploration for Statoil, said the goal was to uncover more oil resources near the Wisting discovery in the Barents Sea.

"The results provide grounds for cautious optimism for additional potential both within this license and the Hoop Area," he said in a statement. "We have over time secured a significant portfolio in the area and what we have learned from this well will be important when we plan to test some of that acreage in 2018."

By Statoil's estimates, the Wisting area is one of the largest in the region, with an estimated 241 million barrels of oil equivalent of recoverable reserves. About half of the 18 billion barrels of oil equivalent yet to be discovered in Norwegian waters are in the Barents Sea.

Exploration in the region has frustrated groups like Greenpeace, who are concerned about drilling in the Arctic waters off the northern coast of Norway. The Hoop reserve area is near Bear Island, a unique island ecosystem that Greenpeace said would be spoiled should a spill occur in the area.

Statoil's efforts are important because Norway is one of the leading oil and natural gas suppliers to the European market, designating nearly all off what it produces for exports.

OIL AND GAS
Dallas Fed: Oil prices and exploration activity diverge
Washington (UPI) Aug 4, 2017
U.S. crude oil prices could move close to $60 by the end of the year, but rig counts in Texas could stall, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, was trading at around $48.60 per barrel early Friday, a downturn from its recent high-water mark above $50 per barrel. Crude oil prices have improved considerably over las ... read more

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