Norway to open Barents Sea to energy industry

April 23, 2013 at 8:00 AM

OSLO, Norway, April 23 (UPI) -- The Norwegian government said it was recommending the opening of southern waters in the Barents Sea to energy explorers for the first time since 1994.

"Opening the first new region for petroleum activity since 1994 will allow us to explore new, promising areas for oil and gas, provide new opportunities and new impetus in northern Norway and boost value creation and employment across the country," Petroleum Minister Ola Borten Moe said in a statement.

The minister said the new offshore area may add as much as 30 percent to the undiscovered reserve potential in the Barents Sea. The Norwegian government said the region may hold more than 1 billion cubic feet of oil equivalent, describing the reserve potential as "high."

"Petroleum activity offers an opportunity to create new, exciting and attractive jobs, and helps to sustain vigorous local communities," Moe said. "I am confident that the region will now exploit the opportunities on offer."

Norway is the largest oil producer in Europe and the second-largest exporter of natural gas after Russia.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Pepsi to release 'Back to the Future Part II' inspired Pepsi Perfect
Nobel Prize in medicine awarded to parasitic disease scientists
Womb transplants begin in U.K. after Sweden's success
Gay Vatican priest comes out day before Pope Francis begins synod on family issues
Scientists find roadmap that may lead to 'exercise pill'