Statoil Makes Substantial Oil Find in Barents Sea

Statoil ASA (STL) said an oil find in the Barents Sea is the “twin” of its Skrugard field, the biggest discovery in the waters off the northern tip of Norway.

The Havis prospect may hold 200 million to 300 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent, Norway’s biggest energy producer company said today in a statement. Including the nearby Skrugard find, that brings total volumes to as much as 600 million barrels.

Oil and gas companies are expected to invest a record 184.6 billion kroner ($31 billion) in Norway this year, the country’s statistics agency said last month. The world’s seventh-largest oil exporter may slow a decade-long slump in production after recent success from the Arctic to the North Sea, including the world’s largest offshore find last year.

“This means a lot to the Barents region,” Carl Christian Bachke, an analyst at RS Platou Markets in Oslo, said by phone. “It will open up a lot of new activity in the area.”

Statoil rose 0.9 percent to 157 kroner as of 11:17 a.m. in Oslo. The shares are up 12 percent in the past year.

Havis, which is also owned by Eni SpA (ENI) and Norway’s Petoro AS, lies about seven kilometers southwest of Skrugard, which was discovered in April. It lies to the north of Statoil’s Snohvit natural gas deposit, the only producing field in the area.

‘Other Discoveries’

“They said after Skrugard that this really changes how we view the Barents Sea and it will likely lead to other discoveries and this is a proof of that,” said Trond Omdal, an analyst at Arctic Securities ASA in Oslo.

Bachke, who estimates the latest discovery may contribute 1 krone to 1.5 krone per share for Statoil, has a “neutral” rating on the producer.

“Havis is our second high-impact oil discovery in the Barents Sea in nine months,” Statoil’s Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund said in the statement. “Skrugard and Havis open up a new petroleum province in the north.”

A high impact find is defined as having more than 250 million barrels of oil equivalent in total and more than 100 million barrels net for Statoil.

Statoil and Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum AB also made what may have been the world’s biggest offshore find last year at the Aldous-Avaldsnes prospect in the North Sea, which could hold a combined 1.7 billion to 3.3 billion barrels of resources.

The Havis well is the second in production license 532, which was awarded in 2009 as part of the 20th licensing round.

Statoil is the operator of production license PL532 and owns a 50 percent stake. Eni Norge AS has 30 percent and Petoro AS 20 percent.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Josiane Kremer at jkremer4@bloomberg.net

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