European Majors Team Up to Explore Arctic

European Majors Team Up to Explore Arctic
Statoil and Eni form BaSEC (Barents Sea Exploration Collaboration) to solve operational issues connected to exploring the Barents Sea for hydrocarbons.

Statoil announced Tuesday that it is collaborating with a handful of other European energy players to solve operational issues connected to the exploration of the Barents Sea in Norway's Arctic region.

The project, called BaSEC (Barents Sea Exploration Collaboration), involves Eni Norge, Lundin Norway, OMV and GDF Suez. It will last for three years and cover the Barents Sea, with a particular focus on Norway's 23rd licensing round.

"We are taking operational responsibility seriously and have connected leading companies with operations in the Barents Sea to work together to find good and robust solutions for the tasks we see ahead, especially considering the new areas that have been opened in the Barents Sea southeast," Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration in Norway, commented in a company statement.

The project, which was initiated by Statoil and Eni Norge, will be led by Statoil in the first phase, but all the companies will participate in the steering group and contribute to the working groups.

"Our goal is to increase coordination and develop cost-effective solutions for exploration in the Barents Sea in both the short and medium term. We will collaborate with authorities, industry organisations and other relevant institutions to deliver on this. We aim to be effective and address the concrete actions that need to be taken and share relevant solutions and data with both the authorities and the rest of the industry. It is in our common interest to have robust exploration activity in the Barents Sea," Rummelhoff added. 

Statoil said the collaborator will aim to find common solutions for operations in the Barents Sea, including the delivery of a high level of safety and emergency response. This will happen through sharing of data, cost-effective solutions, more collaboration and increased coordination, the firm said.

Working groups to be established include:

  • MetOcean and ice
  • Environment and oil spill response
  • Logistics and emergency preparedness
  • Mobile drilling units
  • Health and working environment

Statoil said that more participants in the project will be added after the 23rd licensing round.

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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