French company Total and Exxon Mobil, which has headquarters in the United States, were among the 16 companies that joined a group looking to "secure good data quality" from new areas opening up to explorers in the southeastern Barents Sea, Statoil said.
"The recently opened southeastern Barents Sea is part of the 23rd licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf in 2014," the Norwegian company said in a statement Tuesday. "Statoil took on the operator role for the [seismic] acquisition."
In December, Statoil said the survey of the southeastern Barents Sea will begin in April.
The government said the offshore acreage for the 23rd licensing round includes frontier areas in the southeast Barents Sea, the first time the government opened new areas for bidding since 1994.
Statoil provided no estimate of the reserve potential in the southeastern Barents Sea.