The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), a government agency responsible for regulation of petroleum resources, reported on April 25, 2017, that the agency is expecting a new record in the number of exploration wells in the Barents Sea this year.
According to the agency, 15 wells are slated for drilling, which is 2 more than in the record year 2014.
The NPD said that an important milestone in 2017 will be to uncover the potential for discovering oil and gas in the southeastern Barents Sea – a recently opened area that was awarded in the 23rd licensing round and where no exploration wells have yet been drilled.
The agency further said that Statoil will drill the 1st wildcat well to the northeast in the area this summer which will contribute to the work on mapping the geology in this part of the Barents Sea.
Statoil will also drill 5/6 wildcat wells in the Barents Sea.
Lundin is also planning to drill 2 new wildcat wells and several appraisal wells in the Alta/Gohta area.
Lundin has already made an oil and gas discovery in the Barents Sea this year.
This has been named Filicudi, and it is estimated to contain between 5.5 and 16 million standard cubic meters of recoverable oil equivalents.
As of today, 3 new field developments are planned in the Barents Sea: Johan Castberg, Alta/Gohta and Wisting.
Submission of the development plan for Johan Castberg is expected at the end of the year, and production is scheduled to start in 2022.
The Barents Sea currently has few facilities and pipelines, and most of the proven oil and gas deposits are located far from shore.
This means that the discoveries must be even larger than in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, or must be coordinated in order to become profitable.