North Sea dis­cov­ery could un­lock 130m bar­rels of oil

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS -

NOR­WE­GIAN EN­ERGY gi­ant Sta­toil has an­nounced that a new dis­cov­ery in the North Sea could con­tain in the range of 25 to 130 mil­lion bar­rels of oil.

The group said the find, in the Ver­bier side­track well in the outer Mo­ray Firth, is proof that “there could be sig­nif­i­cant re­main­ing po­ten­tial” in the basin.

Jez Averty, se­nior vice pres­i­dent ex­plo­ration in Nor­way and the UK at Sta­toil, said: “This is an en­cour­ag­ing re­sult for Sta­toil and the UK team.

“We have proven oil in good qual­ity sands with good reser­voir prop­er­ties, but sig­nif­i­cant work re­mains, most likely in­clud­ing ap­praisal, to clar­ify the re­cov­er­able vol­umes and to re­fine this range.”

The group said it will con­tinue to as­sess the data and plan fur­ther ap­praisals to de­ter­mine the ex­act size of the dis­cov­ery, as well as its com­mer­cial po­ten­tial.

The dis­cov­ery comes just weeks af­ter new re­search showed that Bri­tain’s oil in­dus­try could be en­ter­ing its fi­nal decade of pro­duc­tion. A study of out­put from off­shore fields es­ti­mates about 10 per cent of the na­tion’s orig­i­nal re­cov­er­able oil and gas re­mains, ac­cord­ing to the Uni­ver­sity of Ed­in­burgh’s School of Geo­Sciences.

If the pre­dic­tions are cor­rect, the UK would soon have to im­port all the oil and gas it needs, the uni­ver­sity’s sci­en­tists warned.

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