After reporting production gains, the Norwegian government confirmed a discovery on December 23, 2016, of at least 25 million barrels in its waters of the North Sea.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said it confirmed a discovery for Aker BP in a wildcat well 4 miles away from the closed Frigg field in the North Sea.
A wildcat well is one drilled into an area not previously known to hold oil or natural gas reserves.
Based on preliminary data, the NPD put the estimated size of the discovery at between 25 million and 75 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents.
«The licensees are assessing the discovery along with other nearby discoveries with a view towards potential development,» the government regulator said in a statement.
The Norwegian subsidiary of BP joined Norwegian energy company Det norske in June to announce plans to create Aker BP, an independent company they said would be the largest Norwegian independent oil and gas producer. Norwegian oilfield services company Aker, which owned 49.9 % of Det norske, was included in the arrangement.
Aker BP emerged as a consolidated entity December 1, 2016, saying it has «considerable» ambitions for the Norwegian continental shelf.
By 2023, the company said it could producte more than 250,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day.
Norway is among the leading oil and natural gas suppliers to the European economy apart from Russia.
Preliminary data for November show an average production of 2.15 million barrels of oil, natural gas liquid and an ultra-light product called condensate, which is about 2 % higher than figures from October.
Average daily production of oil from Norway was 1.74 million barrels, about 9 % higher than the NPD reported last year and 11 % higher than expected.
Oil production is about 5 % above the prognosis so far this year.