Oslo reviewing offshore safety

May 8, 2012 at 9:20 AM

OSLO, Norway, May 8 (UPI) -- Parts of the ecosystem on the floor of the Barents Sea haven't been considered properly in oil spill response plans, the Norwegian government said.

The Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency said oil and natural gas operators planning to work in the Barents Sea should take note of vulnerable bird populations and seabed fauna, the Bloomberg News agency reports.

Oslo announced in March the start of its annual licensing round for blocks and partial blocks in the North, Norwegian and Barents Seas.

Italian energy company Eni estimates its Skrugard prospect in the Barents Sea holds as much as 250 million barrels of recoverable oil and around 350 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Together with the Havis field, about 15 miles south of Skrugard, recoverable oil reserves in the area are estimated at more than 500 million barrels.

Also this week, Russian energy company Rosneft and Norway's Statoil signed a strategic cooperation agreement to explore offshore frontier areas in the Barents and Okhotsk seas.

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