Italian energy company Eni gets approval to start drilling into the Norwegian waters of the Barents Sea. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo
STAVANGER, Norway, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A Norwegian energy regulator said Italian energy company Eni is the next in line to start drilling operations in the Barents Sea.
The Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway said Eni has the green light to start drilling into a prospect named Bone-Bigorna, situated in the Norwegian waters of the Barents Sea.
The prospect is in 1,300 feet of water and drilling is scheduled to take 55 days. No reserve estimates were offered by the PSA or Eni, which operates in 11 license areas in the Barents Sea.
"Barents Sea is a strategic area with a huge resource base, which will be developed in compliance with the tightest environmental and safety standards provided for the people and environment protection, considering the fragile ecosystem," the company said.
Eni started production at the Goliat oil fields in the Barents Sea in March. The company said production there should peak at around 65,000 barrels of oil per day, net to Eni.
The NPD in late November confirmed a new discovery in the Barents Sea for Swedish energy company Lundin Petroleum. The agency put 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.
Apart from Russia, Norway is one of Europe's main suppliers of oil and natural gas.
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. Total production of oil and natural gas liquids for Norway is on a modest decline.