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All set for new exploration wells in the Barents Sea

October 22, 2010, 15:08 CEST

Photo from the drill. (Photo: News On Request/Eni Norge)

The three operators, Statoil, Eni and Lundin, together with NOFO (Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies) and local task forces jointly planned and carried out an extensive oil spill response drill on Sørøya in West Finnmark. 


Knut Harald Nygård, Statoil’s exploration manager for the Barents Sea. (Photo: Harald Pettersen)

“We’re very experienced when it comes to exploration in the Barents Sea and are keen to test out our emergency response plans before embarking on a new exploration campaign with Eni and Lundin. It’s important to ensure that the cooperation between the companies, NOFO and local task forces works really well before we commence drilling. We are pleased to have achieved our goals for the drill,” says Nygård.

Drill leader Torun Måseide states that all planned drill elements were carried out and that the companies involved are satisfied with the results.

“We have verified that we meet all requirements in our emergency plans,” says Måseide.

In addition to four NOFO ocean going collection systems, consisting of a total 11 vessels with containment booms and collection devices, the Norwegian Coastal Administration and inter-municipal oil spill protection agency in Mid and North Troms supplied personnel and resources for cleaning up the oil along the coast.

The three operator companies will shortly commence four exploration wells in the Barents Sea, the first of which will be drilled by Eni. Statoil will then drill two wells and Lundin one, the first exploration wells drilled in the Barents Sea since 2008. The mobile rig Polar Pioneer will be used on all of them.