The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) will conduct shallow stratigraphic drilling activities in the Barents Sea north to gain more knowledge of the resource potential of the area.
In connection with its debate on the revised 2005 national budget, the Storting (Norwegian parliament) resolved to allocate NOK 20 million for a mapping of the resources in the Barents Sea. This is part of the Cabinet's plans to secure Norway's long-term interests in the Northern areas.
The Cabinet also wants to strengthen the scientific knowledge of the Northern areas. The NPD is now to drill up to five new shallow stratigraphic wells in the northern part of the Barents Sea, east of Svalbard.
Since the 1970s, the NPD has been collecting seismic data and conducted shallow stratigraphic drilling activities. The purpose of the shallow stratigraphic drilling is to complement the seismic mapping with geological information in the form of core samples of solid rocks under the loose deposits on the seabed.
The expedition will take place in September.