Significant oil discovery in the seas of the Norwegian Arctic

The Guardian reports, 6th September 2013: “Tullow Oil, one of the Britain’s most successful exploration groups, has made its first discovery in the Arctic in a move which will encourage more drilling and anger green groups campaigning against fossil fuel extraction in the region.

“This is a major frontier light oil discovery for Norway, Tullow Oil and our co-venturers. We look forward to pursuing the exciting exploration and appraisal follow up arising from this breakthrough discovery,” said Angus McCoss, exploration director at Tullow, which holds a 20% stake in the prospect.

The oil strike in the far north is a significant step for Tullow, which last autumn bought a 40% stake in exploration acreage of Greenland just weeks after the boss of French oil group, Total, said drilling in the Arctic should be abandoned because of the potential reputational and environmental damage if there was an oil spill.

In March this year a new government in Greenland put a moratorium on the granting of fresh oil and gas licences in its Arctic waters but existing licences are still valid. British oil company Cairn Energy, which pioneered a new bout of exploration off Greenland two years ago, said it would resume its controversial exploration in that area in 2014.

Greenpeace has made protection of the far north one of its key campaigns and last month its Arctic Sunrise vessel was chased out of Arctic waters by Russian coast guards after it approached a drill rig working for Moscow-based oil company, Rosneft. Russia and Norway signed an historic agreement to carve up the Barents Sea between them in 2010, a move which was expected to herald much more drilling in the region.

Source: The Guardian, 6th September 2013. For the full text see http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/sep/06/tullow-oil-arctic-discovery-norway

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