(Updates with comment from analyst in third paragraph.)
Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Statoil ASA, Norway’s biggest oil and natural gas company, made a “substantial” oil find in the Barents Sea near its earlier Skrugard discovery, cementing the potential of a crude production hub in the far north.
The find in the Havis prospect may hold 200 million to 300 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents, the Stavanger- based company said today.
“This means a lot to the Barents region,” Carl Christian Bachke, an analyst at RS Platou Markets in Oslo, said by phone. “This is by far the largest oil discovery in the Barents and it will open up for a lot of new activity in the area.”
Havis, which is also owned by Eni SpA and Norway’s Petoro AS, lies about seven kilometers southwest of Skrugard, which was discovered in April and is estimated to hold about 250 million barrels. It lies to the north of Statoil’s Snohvit natural gas deposit, the only producing field in the area.
Bachke, who estimates the discovery may contribute 1 krone to 1.5 krone per share, has a “neutral” rating on Statoil.
Statoil shares rose 0.9 percent to 157.1 kroner as of 9:02 a.m. in Oslo.
“Havis is our second high-impact oil discovery in the Barents Sea in nine months,” 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 equivalents in total and more than 100 million barrels net for Statoil. The company 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. The prospect is part of one “giant” oil field, the company said in August.
The well is the second in production license 532, which was awarded in 2009 in connection with the 20th licensing round. The well is drilled to a vertical depth of 2,200 meters below sea level at a depth of 365 meters, Statoil said.
Statoil is the operator for production license PL532 and owns a 50 percent stake. Eni Norge holds 30 percent and Petoro 20 percent.
--Editors: Jonas Bergman, Stephen Cunningham
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