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Det Norske confident Arctic Gohta oil find will be developed

BY MIKAEL HOLTER

OSLO (Bloomberg) -- Det Norske, which has a stake in Norway’s biggest oil discovery in decades, is confident its Gohta find in the Barents Sea will be developed.

“There’s a good probability it will be commercialized,” COO Oeyvind Bratsberg said.

The discovery, holding as much as 145 MMbbls of crude, could either be developed alone or be tied in to Statoil’s Johan Castberg project 65 km away, Bratsberg said. Gohta is similar in size to Eni' s Goliat, the first oil find to be developed in the Barents Sea, he said.

Norway, western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer, is expanding into the Arctic waters of the Barents Sea to compensate for falling production from decades-old North Sea fields. Explorers’ interest was revived by Castberg’s twin Skrugard and Havis finds in 2011 and 2012 with as much as 600 MMbbls of oil.

Gohta, which was announced in September just days after OMV said it had found as much as 160 MMbbls of oil in another area of the Barents, is Norway’s first discovery with sufficient crude flow made in Permian rocks. Det Norske, based in Trondheim, is now looking at other prospects in Permian layers in licenses around Gohta.

“It definitely opens opportunities,” Bratsberg said in an interview in Oslo.

Det Norske, which today reported a net loss of $27 million for the Q3, also said it didn’t consider the Norvarg gas discovery in the Barents Sea, operated by Total, commercially viable because of a lack of natural- gas infrastructure in the area.

The industry will need new gas volumes the size of “one to two Ormen Lange fields,” or as much as 600 bcm, to build a southbound export pipeline from the Barents Sea, Bratsberg said. That represents more than three times the volumes of the Snohvit gas discovery, the only field in operation in the Barents Sea to date.

“It will also depend on gas markets,” he said. “I think there’s a possibility gas prices in Europe could come under a certain pressure.”

Det Norske has interest in two of three licenses holding the Johan Sverdrup oil discovery in the North Sea, possibly the biggest off Norway since 1974 with as much as 3.6 Bbbls of oil. The partners, which include Statoil and Lundin Petroleum, intend to start production toward the end of 2018, Bratsberg confirmed.

11/01/2013

 

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