Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A Norwegian energy regulator confirmed a new oil and natural gas discovery was made in the Barents Sea by a subsidiary of Lundin Petroleum.
Norway is a major oil and gas producer and one of the main suppliers of energy for the European economy, outside of Russia. Oil from the Troll field in the Norwegian waters of the North Sea will be added to the basket of oils that make up the Brent standard in January.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate confirmed Lundin made a discovery at a wildcat well, one drilling in an area not previously known to carry hydrocarbons, about 20 miles away from the producing Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea.
The NPD estimated the size of the discovery at between 34.5 million and 100 million barrels of oil equivalents.
"Further delineation and production testing of the discovery will be assessed," the NPD stated. "The wells were not production tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out."
Lundin said its results indicate the reserve potential may be on the upside of government estimates. Several prospects have already been discovered in the same area, supporting a sense of optimism.
"We hope to drill at least two more prospects in the license," Halvor Jahre, the exploration for Lundin's subsidiary in Norway, said in a statement. "However, nothing is certain until we have drilled the exploration wells."
Lundin, which has its headquarters in Stockholm, said last week it was creating a new business unit -- International Petroleum Corp. -- to steer its operations in Malaysia, France and the Netherlands. With the spin-off, the parent company is focused exclusively on offshore Norway.