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    Var Energi Resumes Norwegian Drilling


The Eni subsidiary attributed its decision to Norway's $10.6bn tax relief package.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Var Energi Resumes Norwegian Drilling

Eni's Norwegian subsidiary Var Energi has resumed its drilling campaign off Norway, citing a kroner 100bn ($10.6bn) tax relief package the country's parliament approved in June.

The campaign involves one production and one water injection well at the Goliat oilfield in the Barents Sea, and the King Prince exploration well near the Balder/Ringhorne oil and gas project in the North Sea.

"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," Var Energi's vice president for procurement, Annethe Gjerde 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."

The plan is to resume drilling in the Barents Sea in late autumn, provided Var Energi can arrange this with suppliers. The wells will be drilled by the Saipem-owned Scarabeo-8 rig.

Var Energi is Norway's biggest private producer, 69.6%-owned by Eni and 30.4% by Norwegian private equity investor HitecVision.