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Norway raises reserve estimate of Barents Sea field

Eni approved for further developments of a prospect within the Goliat license area.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Norway raises reserve estimate of Barents Sea field
Norwegian government raises the estimate of oil reserves in parts of the northern waters of the Barents Sea. Photo courtesy of the Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway.

March 30 (UPI) -- The size of the oil reserves in the Goliat field in the Norwegian waters of the Barents Sea were revised higher because of new drilled wells, a regulator said.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said two wells drilled in the Snadd reservoir within the Goliat license area in the Barents Sea meant an increase in the estimates reserves of 7.5 million barrels.

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Italian energy company ENI, which operates Goliat through floating production platforms, is already approved by the Norwegian government for development of the Snadd prospect.

"The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is pleased that the resources in Snadd will be produced," the regulator's assistant director, Tomas Morch, said in a statement. "We also expect that the licensees on Goliat will drill more wells that can contribute to further improving recovery from the field."

Before the announcement from the NPD, the Italian energy company estimated total reserves in Goliat at 179 million barrels. Production from Goliat comes from 12 oil-producing wells. A peak rate of 100,000 barrels of oil per day is expected.

The reserve area lies within Arctic waters. The Norwegian government has called on energy companies working there to observe requirements related to distance from ice sheets "so the environmental assets along the ice edge are safeguarded."

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A gas leak following regular maintenance operations forced the shutdown of operations at Goliat in August. Non-essential crew were evacuated, though ENI returned to full service the following month.

Apart from Russia, Norway is a lead oil and natural gas supplier to the European economy, exporting nearly all of what it produces offshore.

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