STAVANGER, Norway, June 30 (UPI) -- The Norwegian government said Monday exploration activity on its continental shelf has been robust, with 13 discoveries made so far this year.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said 33 exploration wells were drilled as of June 24, which is about 17 percent more than during the same period last year.
"Exploration activity on the Norwegian shelf remains vigorous," NPD said in a statement.
Seven of the discoveries were made in the Norwegian waters of the North Sea. One of the largest was made by Statoil in the so-called Heather formation of the Oseberg area, which has proven as much as 250 million cubic feet of oil equivalent so far.
Three discoveries have been made so far in the Norwegian Sea. Part of the Njord field is expected to hold more than 37 million barrels of recoverable oil and 70 billion cubic feet of natural gas, making it the largest Norwegian Sea discovery so far this year.
Three discoveries were reported in the Barents Sea this year, with part of the Johan Castberg discovery estimated to hold more than 70 million cubic feet of natural gas.
NPD said exploration activity should be robust for the rest of the year, with exploration wells planned in the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea.
Norway is one of the premier producers of oil and natural gas in Europe.