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New oil and gas find offshore Norway

Government confirms discovery in the northern part of the North Sea.

By Daniel J. Graeber
New oil and gas find offshore Norway
Norwegian government confirms minor oil and gas discovery in its territorial waters of the North Sea. Photo courtesy of Statoil.

March 24 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil made an oil and gas discovery in the North Sea in an area not previously known to hold reserves, the government said.

Using its Gullfaks C platform, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate confirmed a discovery of oil and gas in the Gimle field, about 4 miles away from the Gullfaks field that's already in production. The discovery was made in a so-called wildcat well, a well drilled into an area not previously known to hold reserves.

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Considered a relatively minor find, the NPD estimated the size of the discovery at between 6 million and 18 million barrels of oil equivalent.

"The discovery will be produced from a subsequent development well from the Gullfaks C platform," the NPD stated.

Overall reserves for the Gimle field were proven in December 2004 for Statoil. Ownership issues means processing there needs to be associated with Gullfaks licenses.

The Norwegian government reported production levels for February of 1.67 million barrels of oil per day and 365,000 barrels of natural gas liquids. Oil production in particular was nearly a full percentage point higher than the NPD expected for February.

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Apart from Russia, Norway is one of the main suppliers of oil and natural gas for the European economy. Nearly all of its offshore production is slated for exports.

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