Statoil Announces Major Oil Strike in Barents Sea (STO, E, XOM)

Norway’s largest oil firm, Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) said it has found a new reservoir in the Barents Sea that the company estimates to hold up to 300 million recoverable barrels of oil. Statoil owns 50% of the venture, along with Italy’s Eni SpA (NYSE: E) and another Norwegian company. Earlier this year, Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) reached a deal to explore for oil in the Kara Sea in a joint venture with Russia’s Rosneft. The Kara Sea is separated from the Barents Sea by the island of Novaya Zemlya.

Statoil’s discovery, called the Havis prospect, is the company’s second major find in a year. Earlier this year Statoil found a prospect called Skrugard, roughly equal in size to Havis, less than five miles from the Havis prospect.