Statoil and its partners ENI and Petoro have struck oil reserves in the Kayak well in the Johan Castberg licence in the Barents Sea.

The reserves are estimated at 25 and 50 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents. According to Statoil, this is the first-time oil was found in this kind of formation in the Barents Sea, opening further exploration opportunities in the area.

This is the eighth exploration well in production license 532. The license was awarded in the 20th licensing round in 2009.

Statoil has also announced the commencement of production at another field, the Gina Krog, in the North Sea. The field contains an estimated 224 million barrels of oil equivalent. Production is expected to continue until 2032.

Last month, Statoil received approval from the Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway to start drilling at another location, part of the Korpfjell prospect, in the Barents Sea. Also, another drilling launch was announced for the Gemini Nord prospect in the Barents Sea.

So far, Norway’s state oil company has found five oil and gas prospects in the Barents Sea.

The Barents Sea is estimated to have about 65% of Norway’s undiscovered offshore hydrocarbon reserves, making it a priority exploration area for the state energy major, which has tied up with a several international companies, including Eni, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, OMV, and Lundin on various projects.

Statoil Norway and the UK exploration senior vice-president Jez Averty said: “We are very pleased to have made a good discovery in our first completed well in the Barents Sea this year. We are particularly pleased to have proven resources in a type of play that has not been explored before. This opens interesting opportunities."

Image: The reserves are estimated at 25 and 50 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents. Photo courtesy of Statoil ASA.