At the same time, measurements show that quantities of Arctic ice have never been smaller.
Statoil’s Arctic research budget for 2012 is NOK 80 million (about USD 13.7 million). Next year’s will be NOK 250 million (roughly USD 42.8 million).
While scientists concluded, Monday, that Arctic ice has never melted so quickly, Statoil is stepping up its drilling program for the Arctic.
“We believe that about 20 percent of the world's undiscovered resources are located in Arctic areas,” said Tim Dodson, Statoil's executive vice president for exploration, during a presentation on the first day of ONS.
Aggressive drilling plans
At the same time, Mr Dodson revealed the company's aggressive drilling plans for 2013. * Statoil will be drilling nine wells in the Barents Sea next year. These will be located in areas around Skrugard and Snøhvit, but also in more unexplored areas such as Hoop further north.
- The company plans to drill three wells off Newfoundland in Canada during 2013, in addition to one together with Chevron as a partner.
- Statoil also has Arctic areas in Russia, West Greenland, and North America.
Parallel with drilling in these areas, Statoil is also now focusing on quickly entering less accessible areas where few, if any, have been before. Drilling while the ice is on the sea surface is currently not technically possible, but highly desired by the oil industry.
“We can only drill for two months a year at the moment. This is expensive and inefficient. The aim is to be able to drill throughout the year,” said Mr Dodson.
New drilling unit
“The Arctic’s full potential can only be exploited via innovation and development of technology, and by bringing down costs,” he declared.
Consequently, Statoil is now building a new drilling unit designed to drill at different depths in the Arctic, as well as in sea ice.