Some 1.5 Bboe have been proved in the Barents Sea (NPD 16.05.2018) since the first well was drilled in 1980.
To put that number in perspective, we must remember that the Statfjord field has produced more than 5 Bboe since start-up in 1979.
Finding 3.5 Bboe in 38 years makes an average of 90 MMboe per year.
A typical creaming curve is steep in the beginning and then flattens out as the petroleum province goes from being frontier to mature. Following almost 40 years of exploration, and more than 100 wells, we must therefore expect that the larger finds have been made.
Exceptions to this rule do occur, however, as exemplified by the Johan Sverdrup discovery in the North Sea in 2010.
According to NPD, the expected “yet to find” resources in the Barents Sea South is 7.3Bboe.
If we assume the same discovery rate in the future as in the first 38 years, it will take another 80 years to find the anticipated remaining resources.
That’s a very long time.
The question is therefore if Norway needs a new exploration strategy in the Barents Sea.
The Barents Sea challenge will be addressed at the forthcoming The 2nd NCS Exploration Strategy Conference in November in Stavanger.