North Sea still hot property

The North Sea is not nearly as "mature" an oil province as many observers believe. Norsk Hydro executives say recoverable oil reserves of up to 500 million barrels remain to be found.

Exploration Director Helge Hove Haldorsen noted that wellhead density in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea is only half what it is on the British side. He also said Norsk Hydro plans to spend up to USD 110 million (NOK 1) on North Sea exploration next year. Next week is the deadline for oil companies to apply for North Sea operating licenses that will be awarded in the first quarter of 2001.