July 26 (UPI) -- A new oil and natural gas discovery in the Norwegian waters of the North Sea holds an estimated 30 percent more reserves than expected, the government said.
The regional subsidiary of Faroe Petroleum completed drilling two appraisal wells in the Brasse discovery, located about 8 miles east of the Oseberg field, parts of which have been in production since the 1980s.
Faroe declared a series of successes last year at its Brasse prospect. The presence of oil and gas was confirmed during earlier drilling campaigns and reservoirs near the vicinity of the Brasse prospect were producing around 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day last year.
Faroe pegged the initial reserve estimate at between 57 million and 106 million barrels of oil equivalents prior to drilling. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation's energy regulator, said now that drilling has been completed, the reserve estimate is likely in the range of 74 million and 122 million barrels of oil equivalent.
"We are very pleased to announce the completion of this successful, Faroe-operated, appraisal program of the Brasse field, which considerably exceeded expectations and further confirms the commerciality of this discovery," CEO Graham Stewart said in a statement. "The Brasse field is clearly a very significant and valuable asset, with very attractive economics even at long term low commodity prices."
Faroe reported net average production of 17,395 barrels of oil equivalent per day last year, a gain of nearly 7,000 barrels from the previous year. Total revenue of $122.6 million was down 16 percent. The company received drilling permission for the Brasse prospect in May.
Norway is one of the leading oil and natural gas exporters to the European market, apart from Russia, and most of what the country produces offshore is designated for exports. Norway in June produced 1.5 million barrels of oil per day and 307,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in natural gas liquids.