Statoil announced that it, along with its Norwegian counterpart Petoro and Italian subsidiary Eni Norge, has plans to start exploration drilling in four new prospects of the Skrugard area.
"We see good opportunities for further upside in the area, and have identified four new interesting prospects," Knut Harald Nygard, Statoil vice president for exploration in the Skrugard area, said in a statement.
The campaign gets under way in late 2012 and drilling for all four prospects should be completed by mid-2013.
Eni has estimated the Skrugard prospect in the Barents Sea holds as much as 250 million barrels of recoverable oil and around 350 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Together with the Havis field, about 15 miles south of Skrugard, recoverable oil reserves in the area are estimated at more than 500 million barrels.
"Proving additional volumes in the area would make the development even more robust," added Erik Strand Tellefsen, Statoil vice president for Skrugard field development.