Lundin finds oil and gas in Barents Sea

Jun 12, 2015 12:00 AM

A Norwegian energy regulator said Friday it was able to confirm the discovery of oil and natural gas at an appraisal site in the Barents Sea

Swedish energy company Lundin Petroleum said it made the discovery in the Alta prospect, located in the Barents Sea about 100 miles from the Norwegian coast.

"The appraisal wells on the western flank of Alta have confirmed our geological model and the existence of hydrocarbons at this location," Lundin President Ashley Heppenstall said in a statement.

Lundin said the discovery contains between 125 million and 400 million barrels of oil equivalents. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the regulator that confirmed the discovery, placed the reserve estimate at between 85 million and 315 million barrels of recoverable oil and 175 billion and 600 billion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.

Lundin, along with its industry peers, said in April it expected a $45 million loss in the first quarter after disappointing exploration results in Norway. Most energy companies are trimming exploration expenses and staff in a weak crude oil market.

The company trimmed most of its 2015 budget from appraisal programs, which at $150 million, represents a 48 percent decrease from its 2014 expenses.

Full-year production for 2014 was down 23 percent from previous year. Looking forward, Lundin said it plans to move a rig to a new location within the Alta discovery and start drilling again as early as next week.

Lundin Petroleum makes oil and gas discovery about 100 miles off the coast of Norway in the Barents Sea.

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