STAVANGER, Norway, June 5 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said Wednesday it was postponing offshore development because of uncertainty about the reserve estimate.
Statoil Executive Vice President Oystein Michelsen said there may be pending tax issues and uncertainty about the reserve estimate at its Johan Castberg project in the Barents Sea.
"This has made it necessary to review the Johan Castberg project," he said in a statement.
The field is located about 150 miles off the coast of Hammerfest. The field was discovered in 2011 and Statoil said initially there may be as much as 600 million barrels of oil there.
Statoil said it was reviewing Johan Castberg through exploration drilling to verify the reserve estimate and determine its development potential.
Michelsen said the company's goal of producing more than 2.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020 hasn't change. More than half of that production should come from the Norwegian continental shelf.
Norway is the largest oil producer in Europe and the second-largest exporter of natural gas after Russia.