Norway-based oil and gas explorer Statoil, along with its partners Eni Norge and Petoro, has discovered gas, while drilling well 7220/5-2 in the Nunatak prospect in PL532 block of the Barents Sea.

Statoil said the gas discovered is considered to be non-commercial.

The well, which was drilled using rig West Hercules rig, encountered gas in rocks of Cretaceous age.

Statoil Norway exploration senior vice president Gro G. Haatvedt said the company with Nunatak, tested a new geological play model in the Johan Castberg area and acquired essential data to be further analyzed.

"The Nunatak results do not have any implications for the expectations to the next three wells as these will target other play models," Haatvedt added.

"Whilst it is disappointing to find only gas in Nunatak, we believe in further oil potential in the Johan Castberg area."

Meanwhile, Statoil and partners have also collected prime data for the Johan Castberg field development studies.