Norway's Vår Energi, majority owned by Italy's Eni, said on Friday it had made a gas discovery near the Goliat field in the Arctic Barents Sea, supporting the group's long-term plans to expand in the area.
"This is the largest discovery on the (Norwegian continental) shelf this year and comes as a Christmas gift," Vaar exploration manager Alessandro Barberis said in a statement. Preliminary estimates place the size of the gas discovery between 57 million and 132 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents, or 9 million to 21 million standard cubic meters.
"The licensees will consider tying the discovery back to existing infrastructure on the Goliat field at a later date," the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said in a separate statement. The find in the Lupa prospect strengthens Vaar's foothold in the north, the company said.
"The discovery could serve as another step towards realizing additional gas infrastructure in the Barents Sea in the future," said Rune Oldervoll, Vår Energi's head of production and exploration.
"We have a long-term growth strategy for the Barents Sea and will continue to chase new opportunities for value creation." Operator Vaar Energi holds a 50% stake in the license, while Aker BP AKRBP.OL owns the rest. (
(Reuters - Reporting by Terje Solsvik, Editing by Stine Jacobsen and Mark Potter)