Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Cairn strikes oil in unexplored waters off the coast of Greenland
Cairn Energy has found oil in the largely unexplored waters off the coast of Greenland. The company, who has recently found gas in the same region, said it had abandoned earlier testing after concluding that the volumes of oil were not commercially viable.
Cairn's Founder Sir Bill Gammell said that the find in Baffin Bay, the sea between Greenland and Canada, was "extremely encouraging", but added that further testing was required.
So far, Cairn is the only producer to have been granted permission to drill for oil offshore in Greenland and the new discovery is bound to please oil industry officials who have long believed that the Arctic contains some of the greatest untapped reserves.
"The presence of both oil and gas confirms an active, working petroleum system in the basin and is extremely encouraging at this very early stage of our exploration campaign," said Gammell.
An official statement released by Cairn said the company found oil "intermittently" in a 400m section of the Alpha-1S1 well, which has reached depths of more than 4,300m. And initial, “geochemical analysis of various hydrocarbon samples recovered from the well … confirms the presence of two oil types, which have different origins and levels of maturity."
The find is expected to be welcomed by the Greenland government, who has been working towards diversifying its economy away from traditional sources of revenue such as fishing, tourism and cash subsidisation from Denmark. Greenland's Minister of Mineral Resources Ove Karl Berthelsen said the latest find was, "another encouraging result".
For more news and expert analysis about the region, please visit the Menas Associates Newsroom.