Statoil bucks trend to invest €16bn in Arctic
After months of gloom about oil in the Arctic region thanks to the likes of Royal Dutch Shell and Cairn Energy, Statoil bucked the trend this week by announcing plans to invest up to $16 billion in the far north.
The Norwegian group, two-thirds owned by the government in Oslo, underlined its confidence in the Arctic by saying it would build a new oil terminal in the far north of the country.
Together with a 280km-long pipeline and floating production unit, the total cost for the new hub is likely to reach €12 billion. It is designed to be ready for 2018 when oil from the Skrugard field – one of two Statoil discoveries in the Barents Sea inside the Arctic Circle – is due to be pumped for the first time.
Statoil has high hopes for the hub, saying it may “spark off a new industrial era”.
It is planning to drill nine new prospects in the Barents Sea this year and next while the Norwegian government is in the process of selling 72 exploration licences in the area.
Oslo is also discussing a plan to open up the area around the Lofoten Islands in the Arctic Circle to exploration . – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013