billions and billions of barrels for CNOOC in Iceland

Some rather remarkable estimates about the potential hydrocarbon reserves in the Icelandic Jan Mayen area (Drekasvæði), coming from Eykon Energy, a partner of China’s CNOOC in the largest licensed sector there, have been making the rounds on Norwegian, Icelandic, Danish, Faroese and English-language media.

An area straddling the border between Icelandic and Norwegian waters might contain, according to Eykon chairman Heiðar Már Guðjónsson, reserves of up to 1bn boe. The area, which people with the company have named Bergþóra after a Njáls saga character, doesn’t look particularly close to the sector licensed to Eykon and CNOOC and such numbers would be good news for the neighbouring licensees, among them Ithaca Energy and, through Faroe Petroleum, Korea’s national oil company. Heiðar Már’s numbers for Bergþóra alone are twice as much as what the Norwegian petroleum directorate (NPD) used to estimate for the whole Jan Mayen area.

That’s nothing compared to the 10bn barrels Heyðar Már mentioned to Dagbladet when talking about the whole area, which, converted to money, would be enough to pay off Iceland’s creditors and surely buy a lot of nice things. Some have expressed skepticism about an estimate that’s a healthy 1900% above the NPD’s, but still lags behind the 20bn that Eykon’s own Terje Hagevang projected back in 2008.

I often write about Jan Mayen oil.

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