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Oil & Minerals
Offshore oil

A time for gathering data

Greenland remains a promising place for oil firms, even if the low oil price has slowed the pace of oil exploration
Oil & Minerals
Those happy days will be here again (Photo: Cairn Energy)

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This article is published as part of The Arctic Journal’s foreign-language service, which provides summaries of the most important headlines from the region published by non-English sources. We currently provide coverage of the Greenlandic, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish media.

Oil explorers conducting seismic testing in the waters off Greenland’s north-eastern coast say they are satisfied with the amount of data they were able to collect during the 2015 season, reports Sermitsiaq, a Greenlandic news outlet that is owned by this website’s parent company.

A total of 7,000 kilometres of seismic data was gathered in the testing, carried out during August and September, according to Hans Kristian Olsen, the managing director of Nunaoil, a nationally owned firm.

“This is important information that will form the basis of future mapping of potential oil reserves,” Olsen said.

SEE RELATED: Oil firms in Greenland: “we’re still here”

This year’s marks the fourth year running that seismic data has been collected. This year surveys, carried out by TGS, a Norwegian firm, comes after 5,000 kilometres were surveyed in 2014, according to Nunaoil. Both years benefitted from relatively ice-free conditions. In years when there are large volumes of ice, the amount of survey data can be as low as 1,000 kilometres.

The successful collection season in north-eastern Greenland stands in contrast to western Greenland, admitted Olsen. Once believed to be on the verge of a commercial strike, the last test wells were drilled there in 2011, and there was no exploration activity there this summer at all.

Ten licences have been issued for exploration off western Greenland, but some of those permits now risk expiring next year unless the firms that hold them carry out drilling activity before then.

“The low price of oil is weighing on companies’ finances,” Olsen said. “but that is not the same as saying Greenland doesn’t have potential. We do, things are just progressing more slowly on the exploration front.” (KM)