Lundin exploring new potential in Barents Sea

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Aug. 31 (UPI) — A new well in Norway’s southern waters of the Barents Sea is targeting a prospect thought to hold 244 million barrels of oil equivalents, Lundin Petroleum said.

Lundin’s subsidiary in Norway said it started drilling an exploration well in the Børselv prospect in the southern Barents Sea. The company said the well is located near the proved Alta and Neiden oil discoveries and about 11 miles northwest of another discovery well.

“The Børselv prospect is estimated to contain gross unrisked prospective resources of 244 million barrels of oil equivalent,” the company said in a statement.

Lundin made discoveries near the Børselv prospect about three years ago. A fourth appraisal well was drilled in the Alta discovery in May and the company put the estimated reserves there at between 125 million and 400 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Addressing some of the concerns about operations in frigid northern climates, the company said the part of the Barents Sea where it’s focusing is located is ice-free because of the Gulf Stream. A handful of Greenpeace activists were arrested mid-August after protesting in the Barents Sea against drilling operations conducted by Norwegian energy company Statoil.

Norway is one of the largest oil and gas producers in the world and an important part of European energy security because it designates nearly all of what it produces offshore for exports.

Preliminary figures from July show total average daily production of oil, natural gas liquids and condensate, an ultra-light form of oil, was 2 million barrels, an increase of 93,000 barrels per day from the previous month.

Lundin, which has headquarters in Sweden and an operational focus in Norway, posted revenue for the three months ending June 30 of $464.6 million, more than twice that of the same period last year. Production for the year should be between 80 million and 85 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, an upward revision from the previous estimate. Operating costs, meanwhile, should move lower by about 6 percent.

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