Swedish oil firm confirms massive North Sea find

Swedish oil firm Lundin Petrolium has confirmed the discovery of a massive oil reserve in the Norwegian North Atlantic, that the firm says could contain up to 1.8 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

Swedish oil firm confirms massive North Sea find

The Avaldsnes oil source was discovered in September of last year and was at the time already seen as a significant boost for the company. It was then estimated to bring between 100 to 400 million barrels of oil, which was later upgraded to between 400 and 800 million. Now, after further investigation, they firm has concluded that it might be as much as 1.8 billion barrels.

“The discovery is likely to be one of the largest five discoveries on the Norwegian Continental shelf and certainly the largest since the mid 80’s and highlights the continued prospectivity of what many viewed as a mature region with limited remaining potential,” CEO Ashley Heppenstall said in a statement.

After breaking the news of the new estimates, Lundin Petroleum skyrocketed on the Stockholm stock market, rising more than 25 percent by lunchtime on Friday.

The find is also a great success for Swedish Statoil Petroleum AS who is a partner of Lundin Petrolium with a 40 percent interest in the license. Maersk Oil Norway AS holds the remaining 20 percent.

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Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland
Empty vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.

The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.

Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point. 

“If we do resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will get the doses back as soon as we ask,” Høie said.

Like neighbouring Denmark, Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on March 11 in order to examine rare but potentially severe side effects, including blood clots.

Among the 134,000 AstraZeneca shots administered in Norway before the suspension, five cases of severe thrombosis, including three fatal ones, had been registered among relatively young people in otherwise good health. One other person died of a brain haemorrhage.

On April 15, Norway’s government ignored a recommendation from the Institute of Public Health to drop the AstraZeneca jab for good, saying it wanted more time to decide.

READ MORE: Norway delays final decision on withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccine 

The government has therefore set up a committee of Norwegian and international experts tasked with studying all of the risks linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which is also suspected of causing blood clots.

Both are both based on adenovirus vector technology. Denmark is the only European country to have dropped the AstraZeneca
vaccine from its vaccination campaign, and said on Tuesday it would “lend” 55,000 doses to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein.