Oct. 9 (UPI) -- At least 25 million barrels of oil were uncovered while drilling into the British waters of the North Sea, Norwegian energy company Statoil said Monday.
The company said it made a new oil discovery while drilling into Verbier basin in British waters. Preliminary data show the field contains between 25 million and 130 million barrels of recoverable oil.
Statoil said the discovery solidified the future for a maturing basin in the North Sea, where it believes significant potential remains.
"Significant work remains, most likely including appraisal, to clarify the recoverable volumes and to refine this range [of the reserve potential]," Jez Averty, a vice president for exploration, said in a statement.
The Verbier results were the only success for Statoil in a three-well effort in the region.
Statoil started work in the British waters of the North Sea last year, working alongside British energy company BP. The Norwegian energy company said its Mariner field in the region holds an estimated 250 billion barrels of oil and peak production should be around 55,000 barrels of oil per day, with first oil expected in production by next year.
The maturation of some of the basins in the North Sea has prompted some companies to shift strategies. BP in April sold off some of its legacy holdings as it reconfigured its regional operations by parting ways with a pipeline system tied to Forties crude oil, a component of the Brent basket.
After awarding contracts to rig company Transocean for the North Sea earlier this year, Statoil said British waters still have a long life of ahead.
The company said Monday it would work now to assess the commercial prospects for the new discovery at Verbier.