Norway’s state oil company Equinor called the discovery of more oil in the Barents Sea “important,” when announcing this week that a well drilled near the Johan Castberg field can yield 25 million barrels.
Nick Ashton, in charge of Equinor’s offshore exploration on the Norwegian and British continental shelfs, said oil from the new well at Skruis will contribute to the resource foundation for Castberg, which is now under development. Skruis is located eight kilometers north of the large Castberg field that’s southwest of the North Cape.
The discovery was made in conjunction with Equinor’s partners on the field, ENI and Petoro. Ashton noted that the goal is to find oil near infrastructure being built for Castberg, which reportedly will be profitable at an oil price of just USD 35 a barrel.
The discovery is bad news for environmentalists trying to protect the Arctic from more oil industry activity. News bureau NTB reported that the new oil discovery will increase Norway’s annual carbon emissions by more than 310,000 tons, equal to those from 100,000 cars. While motorists in Norway are being hit with increasingly high fees and measures at aimed at restricting driving, the country’s oil industry controversially continues to expand, not least after oil prices have risen to around USD 80 a barrel in recent weeks.