NPD released data from operator VNG Norge AS from drilling operations in wildcat well 6406/12-3 S in the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea. A wildcat well is one positioned in a region not known previously to contain oil and natural gas reserves.
The regulator said the operator encountered a hydrocarbon column measuring a net 740 feet. Its preliminary estimate of the size of the discovery was at least 37 million barrels of oil and 2 million square feet of natural gas.
The operating company said the results from the Njord field well were greater than expected.
"Preliminary results from the well are very promising, and the area will therefore now be seen with fresh eyes," Atle Sonesen, the company's managing director, said Thursday. "The potential in and outside the license [area] can be large."
NPD said the rig at the site, Transocean Arctic, was preparing to drill an appraisal well to reduce uncertainty in the resource estimate.