Statoil frustrated with Barents Sea find

Sept. 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

STAVANGER, Norway, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said Monday it discovered natural gas but no oil at a prospect in the Johan Castberg complex in the Barents Sea.

Statoil said it is working alongside its partners, Italian energy company Eni and Norwegian counterpart Petoro, at its Iskrystall prospect in the Barents Sea

"Our main goal was to find oil in Iskrystall, but unfortunately it did not materialize," Gro Haatvedt, Statoil's vice president of exploration, said in a statement Monday. "We still believe we can prove more oil resources in the Johan Castberg area and will continue our exploration effort."

Statoil in June said there may be pending tax issues and uncertainty about the reserve estimate at its Johan Castberg project in the Barents Sea. Iskrystall was the second of four prospects drilled in the area this year. The first project, Nunatak, was described as a "small" discovery for Statoil and not commercially viable.

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