Oil firms operating two oilfields and several oil discoveries in the Barents Sea off Norway are looking at a possibility to build an onshore oil terminal, Norway's oil minister said on Tuesday.
"I'm optimistic. I think it's important that operators investigate all possibilities and find a profitable solution both for the companies and the society," Terje Soeviknes told a news conference.
Statoil, Eni, Lundin and OMV are investigating the possibility of building an onshore facility for ship-to-ship transfers or a terminal with a storage, he added.
Statoil, which develops the Arctic Johan Sverdrup oilfield some 240 kilometres northwest of Hammerfest, has ditched previous plans for an onshore terminal to reduce the development's costs.
The company plans to export oil from the field by using shuttle tankers, the development plan presented to the parliament on Tuesday, showed.
The onshore terminal, however, could be revived if it could receive oil from other developments in the Barents Sea, making it more profitable.
It could also make it cheaper for Italy's Eni to export oil from its Goliat field, located 150 kilometres southeast of Castberg, if it could use larger tankers instead of smaller shuttle tankers.
Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis