Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has announced that operators are set to drill 15 new wells in the Barents Sea in 2017.
This year, the operators are expected to identify the oil and gas potentiality of southeastern Barents Sea.
The area was recently opened after the 23rd licensing round where no exploration wells have been drilled to date.
Statoil is scheduled to drill the first wildcat well to the northeast in the area, which will help to map the geology in this part of the Barents Sea.
NPD director general Bente Nyland said: “The well could confirm whether there is petroleum in the area, and will provide us with invaluable knowledge about the subsurface.”
Statoil will drill around five / six wildcat wells in the Barents Sea while Lundin intends to drill two new wildcat wells and multiple appraisal wells in the Alta / Gohta area.
Lundin has discovered Filicudi, an oil and gas resource in the Barents Sea this year, which is estimated to contain between 5.5 and 16 million standard m3 of recoverable oil equivalents.
Three new fields located in the Barents Sea including Johan Castberg, Alta / Gohta and Wisting, have been planned for development.
The development plan for Johan Castberg is expected to be submitted at the end of the year, with production scheduled to start in 2022.
Eni and Statoil have planned to commence production from the Snadd formation at Goliat field.
Nyland added: “If the companies join forces to find good transport and development solutions in the area, the threshold for developing discoveries in the Barents Sea could become much lower.”
Nyland also opined that Barents Sea Oil Infrastructure, a project where multiple companies intend to develop a joint oil terminal at Veidnes in Nordkapp municipality, can be a good initiative.