New Statoil find could yield 130 million barrel North Sea windfall

Norwegian oil giant’s discovery in the Moray Firth basin could breathe new life into a mature basin

Add bookmark

Diana Raicu

Stavanger-based energy corporation, Statoil, has announced a significant find on the UK continental shelf (UKCS) after side-tracking its Verbier exploration well.

With estimates ranging from 25 to 130 million barrels of oil equivalent, this recent strike could be worth as much as $7.4bn to the world’s 11th biggest public energy company.

In March 2017, Hurricane Energy announced the discovery of the "largest undeveloped discovery on the UK continental shelf" in the Greater Lancaster Area. The find was estimated at approximately one billion barrels. 

oil platform
Mixed messages

In a statement about the Moray Firth discovery, Jez Averty, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway and the UK, said: “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.”

According to The Wood Review, a 2014 report into how to best extract the crude left on the UKCS, there were between 12 and 24 billion barrels still in place.

However, a recent study by the University of Edinburgh has suggested that the UK oil and gas industry might be in its final decade of hydrocarbons production, with the possibility of large-scale energy importation on the horizon.