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More reserves uncovered in Barents Sea

New find for one of Europe's most lucrative oil and gas producers outside of Russia.

By Daniel J. Graeber
More reserves uncovered in Barents Sea
A new discovery of oil and natural gas found in the Norwegian waters of the Barents Sea, a Swedish energy company said. File Photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Swedish energy company Lundin Petroleum said Tuesday it made an oil and gas discovery in a frontier area near an existing field in the Barents Sea.

The company's Norwegian subsidiary said it confirmed an oil and gas discovery while drilling a wildcat well, one drilled in a region not previously known to hold hydrocarbons. The well in the Neiden exploration area was drilled about 37 miles northeast of the Alta discovery in the southern waters of the Barents Sea.

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"The total gross resource estimate for the Neiden discovery is between 25 and 60 million barrels of oil equivalents," the company said in a statement.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate confirmed the discovery, putting the preliminary estimate for reserves at between 18 million and 44 million barrels of recoverable oil and between 35 and 70 billion cubic feet of recoverable gas.

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Apart from Russia, Norway is one of Europe's main suppliers of oil and natural gas.

Lundin made its initial discovery in the Alta prospect, about 100 miles from the Norwegian coast, last year. The NPD placed the reserve estimate at between 85 million and 315 million barrels of recoverable oil and 175 billion and 600 billion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.

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The Norwegian government estimates there are roughly 18 billion barrels of oil equivalent yet to be discovered in Norwegian waters and half of that is in the Barents Sea. In early September, Lundin was given consent to start drilling in the Filicudi prospect in the Barents Sea, a reserve area the company estimated to hold about 258 million barrels of gross oil equivalent. The company said the rig at the Neiden discovery would next move to Filicudi.

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