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06.05.2011

Drilling Begins in Northern Barents Sea

One of the northernmost oil drilling operations ever in the Arctic started this week, 250 kilometers of the coast of Finnmark. The only oil-company based in the Barents Region is a partner in the undertaking.

Optimism is again characterizing the petroleum industry's drilling in northern areas after Norwegian oil major Statoil last month announced a large-scale oil discovery at the Skrugard field in the Barents Sea.

Now, the only oil-company based with head-office in the Barents Region itself, North Energy, has started drilling at the Norvarg field. North Energy is based in Alta, Finnmark.

North Energy is partner in the project together with Det norske oljeselskap, Rocksource and Total E&P Norge.

"In Finnmark it’s terribly cold and terribly dark. There are hardly any roads. Those who know most about local conditions will have advantage of their knowledge of local transport and logistics", says Johan Petter Barlindhaug, Chairman of the board in North Energy.

The drilling just started at the Norvarg field and is North Energy’s debut in the Barents Sea. The company has a 20 percent share in the field, while Total is operator. The companies use the semisubmersible rig West Phoenix for the drilling that has a planned duration of around 100 to 140 days.

North Energy says in a press-release that at least three of the planned drillings this year will take place in the Barents Sea. After Norvarg follows drilling at the Heilo and Zapffe fields.

Copyright 2011, Barents Observer. All rights reserved.

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