Lundin Petroleum CEO Ashley Heppenstall. Image courtesy of Lundin Petroleum/Flickr.

Lundin Petroleum said Wednesday it will move forward with its Arctic drilling plans despite oil price volatility.

The Sweden-based upstream will continue exploring the Barents Sea for new prospects after discovering the Alta field in October 2014.

The Atla field has estimated reserves of 85 million to 310 million barrels of oil and 176 billion to 600 billion cubic feet of recoverable gas.

The company also discovered the field that is now known as Johan Sverdrup, one of the largest finds ever made on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Lundin CEO Ashley Heppenstall told the Financial Times that he believes it is “critical that exploration continues in the region despite current markets.”

“I believe that as the major licence holder in this area we will find significant additional oil resources and ultimately this will act as a catalyst for the development of this region. We are taking a long-term view which in the future will deliver value from this region for our shareholders,” Heppenstall added.

Norway’s Petroleum and Energy Ministry has estimated the Barents Sea holds 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The Norwegian government will open new offshore blocks in the Barents Sea later this year after resolving a border dispute with Russia.

Lundin’s annual production fell to 24,900 barrels of oil equivalent in 2014, down from 32,700 boepd in 2013.

Sliding production coupled with plummeting oil prices brought annual revenue down to $785.2 million from $1.13 billion the previous year.


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