Norway to Search for Oil Further North

Norway to Search for Oil Further NorthNorway to Search for Oil Further North

Norway's government plans to fund a seismic oil and gas survey of the northern parts of its Arctic Barents Sea near the Russian border, searching for more hydrocarbons in the once disputed border zone, it said in the 2015 budget bill.

Norway plans to award licences in the southern part of the area in 2016 and plans to move further north in subsequent licencing rounds, Reuters reported.

The area, near the Russian border, was disputed for 40 years before the two sides settled in 2010 on a maritime border, allowing both sides to launch oil and gas exploration.

Costs in Norway's offshore oil sector, already one of the most expensive in the world, have soared in recent years, weighing on the budget which provides generous tax breaks during the development phase.

The government has already said it would reduce tax breaks for new developments and the oil ministry launched an investigation into why costs soar.