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Statoil ends frontier Barents Sea program

Risks part of the game, Norwegian company says.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 7, 2014 at 9:07 AM
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STAVANGER, Norway, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said Thursday it completed its exploration program in the Hoop area of the Barents Sea after making a small gas discovery.

Statoil drilled three exploration wells in the frontier Hoop area of the Barents Sea. Small volumes were encountered, but nothing in the way of a commercial discovery. This completed its exploration program in the area for the season.

Irene Rummelhoff, a vice president responsible for exploration programs on the Norwegian continental shelf, said Statoil was disappointed with the results.

"Non-commercial discoveries and dry wells are part of the game in frontier exploration," she said in a statement. "We know from experience that exploring for hydrocarbons in the Barents Sea takes time and stamina."

More than a dozen Greenpeace demonstrators boarded a rig contracted by Statoil from Transocean in May that was bound for the work in the northern reaches of the Barents Sea.

Greenpeace said its protest was meant to draw attention to the risks of exploration in arctic waters.

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