Var Energi Resumes Drilling Offshore Norway Citing Positive Effect of Tax Breaks

Image Credit: Var Energi
Image Credit: Var Energi

Norwegian oil company Var Energi is restarting drilling offshore Norway after it had postponed drilling operations in the spring due to the corona pandemic and oil price collapse. 

"The decision [to resume drilling] has been made possible by the temporary changes in the petroleum tax, adopted by the Norwegian parliament in June. This triggers a positive employment effect in the rig market," Eni and HitecVision-backed Var Energi said.

The drilling campaign, carried out by the Saipem-owned drilling rig Scarabeo 8, includes two production and one water injection well at the Goliat field in the Barents Sea. Var Energi will also drill the King Prince exploration well, near the Balder/Ringhorne field in the North Sea.

"After a period of difficult choices and decisions, we are pleased to announce that we are resuming parts of the drilling schedule that was postponed earlier this year due to the extraordinary situation the entire industry was in," says Annethe Gjerde, VP Procurement at Vår Energi.

"The politicians' ability and willingness to find solutions, through temporary changes in the tax regime, have made it possible to reconsider such difficult choices, Gjerde said.

"The changes are important and necessary in order to maintain activity and employment. The Storting’s decision means that we can quickly turn around to carry out these drilling activities. We are happy and proud to see that this triggers much-needed activity in the rig market as well as in the supplier industry. This in line with the Storting’s intention," says Gjerde.

Var Energi plans to start drilling activity in the Barents Sea in late autumn 2020.  

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