THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: US Envoy: Indus More Bullish On Norway Oil, Gas Prospects: “Earlier this month, Shell said it had begun test drilling a gas find at its Onyx well, which industry experts said was a sure sign the company thinks it's a commercial discovery.” (ShellNews.net) Posted 19 Feb 05
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
OSLO -- International oil and gas companies operating on the Norwegian Continental Shelf are more bullish on offshore prospects, the U.S. ambassador to Norway said Friday.
Ambassador John Doyle Ong said in 2003 that Norway had been seen as a maturing oil and gas province where "the glass was half empty."
"In speaking with those companies, that has changed dramatically," he told Dow Jones Newswires following a round-table discussion here with top Norwegian government officials and industry leaders.
Many of the largest international oil majors, including ExxonMobil (XOM), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Royal Dutch/Shell (RD), have been operating on the NCS for several decades, helping to make the country the third largest oil and seventh largest gas exporter in the world.
"They're much more bullish about new opportunities in the Norwegian and Barents Seas, as well as increased oil recovery in the North Sea" Ong said. "Now they see it is a glass half full."
Earlier this month, Shell said it had begun test drilling a gas find at its Onyx well, which industry experts said was a sure sign the company thinks it's a commercial discovery.
And besides a current three-well exploration program in the Barents Sea - off the coast of northern of Norway - the Oil and Energy Ministry said earlier this year it would soon launch a 19th licensing round that would focus on the South Barents, Norway's last frontier petroleum province.
Statoil ASA (STO) - operator of its 190 million-cubic-meter Snoehvit liquified natural gas project off the northernmost tip of Norway - estimates the Norwegian side of the Barents Sea holds around eight billion barrels of oil equivalent.
-By Ian Talley, Dow Jones Newswires, (47) 22 20 10 58; firstname.lastname@example.org