Statoil reports new huge oil discovery

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Norwegian state oil company Statoil has reported its biggest foreign oil discovery ever. The Stavanger-based company said it found wells off the east coast of Canada that may contain as many as 600 million barrels of recoverable oil.

“This is a major find, it’s the biggest Statoil-operated find outside Norway ever,” Bård Glad Pedersen, information chief at Statoil, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Thursday.

The oil discovery was made in the Flemish Pass basin outside Newfoundland, and it was after a successful strike into an exploration well this week that Statoil officials realized the discovery was “of considerable size.” Statoil officials believe it can hold between 300 million and 600 million barrels, which could make it as big as the Norne Field in the Norwegian Sea.

The new discovery off Canada “provides the foundation for major development” of the field known as Bay du Nord, Pedersen said. “That’s what we’re working on now,” he said.

Statoil is the operator for the exploration license where the well was drilled. Its partner on the field is Husky Energy of Canada, and two other discoveries have been made in the area earlier, called Mizzen and Harpoon. Pedersen said Statoil hopes there may be even more oil to be found there, and is gathering additional seismic data and drilling more wells.

Even though new concerns and debate surround the future of Norway’s oil industry, Statoil has made a series of major discoveries during the past two years both at home and abroad. “We had good exploration years both in 2011 and 2012,” Pedersen said. “And so far in 2013, Statoil is the company that’s discovered the most oil and gas in the world, so that’s positive.”

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund