STAVANGER, Norway, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said Thursday it was told by Statoil it found natural gas in the Barents Sea, but the results frustrated the company.
Statoil drilled a wildcat well, a well positioned in a region not known previously to contain oil and natural gas reserves, a few miles northwest of the Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea.
The NPD, the nation's energy regulator, said Statoil reported finding a gross gas column of more than 400 feet during the drilling operations in the wildcat well, although the regulator said the quality of the reserves was less than expected.
Statoil said it hasn't been able to pull the expected amount of oil from Johan Castberg despite the gas discovery.
"The exploration program around the Johan Castberg field has been vital in providing area knowledge but so far not delivered expected oil volumes," the company said in a statement. "Unfortunately, out of the four wells drilled to date only one has resulted in an oil discovery."