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Oil discussion at Snøhvit

The oil zone at the Snøhvit field had no value when the decision regarding expansion was made in 2002. Today, the zone is worth millions, but Statoil has decided to let the oil remain.

Increase oil price and new technology have doubled the value of the oil zone at the Snøhvit field since the decision regarding the expansion was reached in 2002. Rolf Wiborg, chief economist at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, claim the area will provide as much as NOK 7 billions (USD 1 billion) in net earnings if it is collected. However, both Statoil and the directorate are planning to leave the oil where it is, according to nrk.no.

When the Snøhvit field was discussed at Stortinget, it was decided that the profit was so small that it was not reasonable to extract the oil. The expansion was adopted without the oil zone, and in March of this year the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy put an end to Snøhvit’s oil zone.

However, since the decision, the oil prices have increased at the same time as the costs to extract the oil have decreased. Statoil has stated that there may be delayed which according to Wiborg points in the direction of extracting the oil.

«Then the oil production has actually gained six to 12 months, and this is when we see that it is actually time to realize the oil production on the first oil field on the Norwegian shelf in the Barents Sea,» Wiborg said.

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