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Norway’s Oil Future Seen With Ice-Free Arctic’s Barrels: Energy

In the wake of plummeting oil output, Norway, western Europe’s biggest petroleum producer, may have found its new money spigot: an ice-free expanse of the Arctic Ocean known as the Barents Sea.

Companies will drill a least 12 wells in the Norwegian Barents this year -- a record equal to the number drilled in the past two years combined -- as they increase the effort to unlock an estimated 6 billion barrels of oil equivalent the lightly explored area is thought to hold. If half of that were oil, it would be valued at $330 billion at Brent benchmark prices of $110 a barrel.