July 17 (UPI) -- More natural gas was found in the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway, one of the region's largest suppliers, the government reported.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate confirmed energy company Statoil made a small gas discovery in a wildcat well near the producing Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea. A wildcat well is one drilled into an area not previously know to hold hydrocarbons.
"The discovery will be considered as a tie-in to existing infrastructure on the Snøhvit field," the NPD said in a statement.
The NPD put the size of the discovery made about 15 miles southeast of the Snøhvit field at between 70 billion and 105 billion cubic feet.
Statoil was granted consent by the Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway to operate at the field in the Barents Sea last year. During summer 2016, the company started drilling an injection well for carbon dioxide injection in the Snøhvit field off the northern coast of Hammerfest in order to stimulate well production.
Gas leaves the Snøhvit field for the export market in the form of a super-cooled liquid from Hammerfest.
Norway is the third-largest natural gas exporter in the world and designates nearly all of its offshore production for the European market as domestic consumption is low. About a quarter of the country's gross domestic production and nearly 65 percent of its exports are tied to the oil and gas sector.