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More drilling starts in the North Sea

Norwegian government shows oil production in July was at a five-year high.

By Daniel J. Graeber
More drilling starts in the North Sea
London-listed Faroe Petroleum starts new drilling program at the same time the Norwegian government reports a rebound in oil and gas production for July. File photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI | License Photo

LONDON, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- London-listed Faroe Petroleum said it started an exploration program in the North Sea with its Norwegian partners as the region stages production gains.

Faroe Petroleum is working alongside operator Statoil, a Norwegian major, at the Njord field in the North Sea and announced the start of an exploration, appraisal and production program. If successful, Faroe's Chief Executive Graham Stewart said in a statement the opportunity would add to nearby successes and build on the company's core areas of activity.

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Faroe said results would be announced when drilling operations are finished.

The start of the new program comes as the Norwegian government reports oil production in July was at the largest monthly volume for the region in five years.

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Total average production of oil, an ultra-light form of oil known as condensate and natural gas liquids was 2.1 million barrels per day. The government said oil production was 10 percent higher year-on-year and 9 percent above what it expected.

"It is usual with somewhat of a decrease in production in June because of some fields being closed for maintenance," the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said in its monthly reports.

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July oil production was 18 percent above June levels.

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The NPD confirmed a discovery was made in a wildcat well about eight miles south of the Brage field in the North Sea. A wildcat well is one drilled into an area not previously known to contain oil and gas and the NPD said a well drilled by Faroe Petroleum may hold between 42 million and 80 million barrels of oil equivalent.

According to Faroe, the Brage field is producing around 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

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