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Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor has found more oil near its Johan Castberg field in the Arctic Barents Sea, the company said on Monday.

The Skruis exploration well, drilled about 8 kilometres north of the original discovery, indicated a volume of 12 to 25 million recoverable barrels of oil.

“The Skruis discovery confirms the potential in this part of the Barents Sea … The partners will now further consider tie-in of the discovery to Johan Castberg,” Equinor said.

The Castberg field, estimated to hold 450 to 650 million barrels of oil, excluding Skruis, is expected to start in 2022.

The time frame for developing Skruis would depend on the availability of spare capacity at Johan Castberg production facilities, which are likely to be fully utilized until 2026-2027, the company added.

Equinor, the operator, holds a 50 per cent stake in the Johan Castberg license, while Eni has 30 per cent and Norway’s state-owned Petoro the remaining 20 per cent.

Equinor plans to drill three wells in the Barents Sea this year, and to participate as a partner in a fourth.

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