OSLO - Norwegian oil major Statoil on Thursday said it had discovered oil and gas at two prospects in the North Sea estimated to contain a total of 19 to 44 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.
Statoil said it had found gas in the Askja West prospect and oil in the nearby Askja East prospect, located between the Oseberg and Frigg fields.
"We are pleased to start 2014 with a gas and oil find in the Askja West and East prospects, in the very heart of the North Sea," said May-Liss Hauknes, vice president for North Sea exploration in Statoil.
The discovery confirms the continued potential of the North Sea, she added.
"The North Sea is a highly prolific petroleum basin that has delivered new discoveries consistently for over four decades. We are convinced that there are still attractive opportunities both in near-field exploration and in more material growth plays," Hauknes said in a statement.
Statoil said it was considering developing Askja West and East together with the neighbouring Krafla and Krafla West fields to reduce development costs.
Statoil has a 50-per cent operating interest in the Askja prospects, along with Sweden's Svenska Petroleum (25 per cent) and Norway's Det norske oljeselskap (25 per cent).