Arctic drilling: Norway’s Statoil comes up empty
Arctic drilling by Norway’s state-controlled Statoil has found no commercial quantities of oil and gas at the northernmost wells it has ever drilled in the Arctic. The year’s arctic drilling campaign ended without any commercial discoveries, Statoil said in a statement Thursday.
August 7, 2014
Statoil drilled three exploration wells this summer in the Hoop area of the Barents Sea.
Two of them were the northernmost wells ever drilled on the Norwegian continental shelf, more than 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of the mainland.
Statoil said in a statement this year’s exploration campaign ended without any commercial discoveries. It didn’t say whether drilling would resume next year, only that “exploring for hydrocarbons in the Barents Sea takes time and stamina.”
A Statoil spokesman didn’t immediately return phone calls and an email seeking comment.
Statoil is pushing into Arctic waters amid declining offshore production in the North Sea, prompting protests from environmentalists who fear an oil spill in the remote region could have disastrous consequences for sensitive ecosystems.
Greenpeace activists tried to stop Statoil’s exploration campaign in May when they boarded one of the drilling rigs but were removed by police.
At the time, Statoil said it had robust safety measures in place in the “very unlikely” event of an oil spill.
Both Greenpeace and Norwegian environmentalist group Bellona said they were pleased that Statoil didn’t make any commercial discovery in the Hoop area.