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Fiscal relief allows Vår Energi to resume drilling in Barents Sea, North Sea

Norway-based Vår Energi announced it will be resuming drilling activities in the Barents Sea and the North Sea, which had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and oil price collapse. The decision was made possible by temporary changes in the petroleum tax, adopted by the Norwegian parliament in June.

The drilling campaign, carried out by the Saipem-owned drilling rig Scarabeo 8, includes two production wells and one water injection well on the Goliat Field in the Barents Sea. In addition, the King Prince exploration well, near the Balder/Ringhorne field in the North Sea, will be drilled.

“After a period of difficult choices and decisions, we are pleased to announce that we are resuming parts of the drilling schedule that was postponed earlier this year due to the extraordinary situation the entire industry was in,” Annethe Gjerde, VP Procurement at Vår Energi, said. “The politicians’ ability and willingness to find solutions through temporary changes in the tax regime have made it possible to reconsider such difficult choices.”

Ms Gjerde added that she belives the changes are important and necessary in order to maintain activity and employment and noted the decision by the Storting, the Norwegian Parliament, means that the company can quickly turn around to carry out these drilling activities. “We are happy and proud to see that this triggers much needed activity in the rig market, as well as in the supplier industry. This in line with the Storting’s intention,” Ms Gjerde said. “The goal is for us to start drilling activity in the Barents Sea late autumn 2020. Good cooperation with suppliers is, of course, a crucial prerequisite for achieving this. We see a willingness to find good solutions despite the challenges we face.”

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