Statoil Announces Major North Sea Discovery

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Statoil, Norway's state-run oil producer, announced what the company is calling a ''considerable'' find in the North Sea today. Statoil said preliminary estimates of the volume at a well in its Aldous Major field indicate there are at least 200 million barrels of oil equivalent in place, according to the United Press International.

Statoil (STO) called the discovery ''high impact'' while noting it believes it will find further evidence of hydrocarbons in the region. Oil industry observers have become concerned by declining production in the North Sea in recent years, but Statoil has now announced two major discoveries there in less than two months.

In late June, the company said preliminary estimates for the discovery show 12.6 million to 37.7 million barrels of recoverable reserves for a find at its Krafla West prospect in the North Sea.

Combined with Monday's announcement, hopes may be renewed that oil output in the North Sea is not dwindling as rapidly as previously thought. Statoil will be the primary operator of the Aldous Major field with a 40% stake. The company holds a 50% stake in the Krafla West project.

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