Norway looks to extend Barents Sea oil and gas activity

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway – The Norwegian government has outlined its plans for opening the southeastern sector of the Norwegian Barents Sea to petroleum activity. It is the first new offshore region the country has opened since 1994.

The process started in spring 2011, shortly after Norway and Russia finished 40 years of negotiations on their offshore delimitation line in the Barents Sea. Areas included in the present recommendation are in the southernmost part of the new region.

As part of this program, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has surveyed the region’s oil and gas potential. The Petroleum and Energy Ministry believes the region could hold more than 300 MMcmoe of reserves, equivalent to around eight fields the size of Eni’s Goliat in an already opened part of the Barents Sea.

If the assessment is correct, the new area would increase the amount of undiscovered resources in the Norwegian Barents Sea by more than 30%.


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