Statoil announces big find

Norwegian state oil producer Statoil ASA has announced a major oil find in the Barents Sea off the coast of northern Norway.

The company called the reserve, named Havis, a “twin” of the biggest-ever find in the area, the Skrugard field. Officials from Statoil, Norway’s largest energy firm, said in a statement released that the Havis field likely holds between 200 million and 300 million barrels of retrievable oil equivalent.

Helge Lund, chief executive of Statoil, said in the company’s statement, “Havis is our second high-impact oil discovery in the Barents Sea in nine months. Skrugard and Havis open up a new petroleum province in the north,” Bloomberg reports.

Experts say the discovery will mean big changes for the region. Carl Christian Bachke, an analyst from Oslo-based RS Platou Markets, said: “This means a lot to the Barents region; it will open up a lot of new activity in the area.”

Similarly, Trond Omdal, an analysts Oslo’s Arctic Securities ASA, explained, “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.”

Norway is the seventh largest oil exporter in the world and expects to see a record NOK 184.6 billion (EUR 24 billion) in industry investments in 2012. However, analysts say the country is likely to experience a slump over the next decade.