USGS assessment lists 76 billion bbl equivalent on Barents Sea Shelf

More than 76 billion bbl of oil equivalent may be technically recoverable on the Barents Sea Shelf, the US Geological Survey said in a June 30 fact sheet.

The mean estimate of undiscovered, conventional, technically recoverable petroleum resources in four geologic provinces on the Barents shelf included 11 billion bbl of crude oil, 380 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 2 billion bbl of natural gas liquids.

The US Department of the Interior agency completed the assessment in 2008 as part of its Circum-Arctic Oil and Gas Resource Appraisal. The shelf lies entirely north of the Arctic Circle covering about 1.76 million square kilometers off northern Norway and Russia. Most of it is in water less than 500 meters deep.

“This area shares important characteristics with many Arctic basins, such as sparse data, high geologic uncertainty, substantial petroleum—resource potential, and technical barriers that impede exploration and development,” the USGS report said.

Most of the undiscovered petroleum appears to be in the East Barents Basin Province, it indicated.

The fact sheet is available online at

Contact Nick Snow at

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