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Maersk Oil makes North Sea discovery

Find comes a month after new production for Maersk in the region.

By Daniel J. Graeber

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, May 12 (UPI) -- About a month after starting production in the region, Maersk Oil said Tuesday, it found a new source of reserves in the Danish waters of the North Sea.

Drilled in December, the company said it was able to confirm the presence of hydrocarbons in the Xana-1X exploration well in the northern part of the Danish sector of the North Sea.

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"At present the partners are in the process of assessing the technical and commercial implications of the discovery and looking at potential follow-up," Martin Rune Pedersen, managing director of the company's Danish business unit, said in a statement.

Analysis this year from Wood Mackenzie found the region brought in $19 billion in capital spending last year. With oil prices falling off from June 2014 peaks above $100 per barrel, data show exploration and production activity was slowing down in Danish waters.

Exploration activity in 2014 was off 18 percent from the previous year. Only four fields were brought online, the report found.

Maersk started production last month from the unmanned Tyra Southeast-B platform in the Danish waters of the North Sea.

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Peak production is expected by 2017 through investments of more than $650 million. The investment represents the largest ever made by a Danish energy consortium, for which Maersk serves as the operator, since 2007.

The facility is expected to add around 50 million barrels of oil equivalent to the Danish market for the next 30 years.

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