Statoil announced yesterday that it will increase its Arctic exploration activities with a nine-well campaign next year in the Norwegian Barents Sea.
The Norwegian Barents is one of the few Arctic areas with a year-round ice-free zone, so operations are less daunting there than in other Arctic locations.
In December the company said it will begin drilling in Nunatak in the Skrugard area, where it plans to complete four new wells over the following 6 months. The company plans two or three wells to be drilled next summer in the Hoop frontier exploration area, farther north in the Barents Sea. These will be the northernmost wells drilled in Norway, the company said.
After starting the Hoop operations, the company will carry out exploration near the existing Snøhvit and Goliat discoveries, which are in the most mature province of the Barents Sea in the Hammerfest Basin.
Statoil will triple its Arctic technology research budget from this year’s NOK 80 million to NOK 250 million next year. To date, the company has already been involved in 89 of the 97 exploration wells drilled in the Norwegian Barents Sea.