The Associated Press reports that Statoil has announced that a new well shows that it would not be economically viable to produce oil from its newly opened Snow White, or Snoehvit natural gas field in the Arctic.

The Barents Sea field, which came on stream this month, was developed as a pure natural gas field. However, the Norwegian government, which owns 65.3 percent of the field through Statoil and direct investment, this year strongly encouraged project partners to also seek to produce the field’s oil reserves, then estimated at 50 million to 100 million barrels.

In February, Statoil and its project partners, which had decided a month earlier to drop oil production as too costly and risky, agreed to drill one more well to confirm the extent of oil reserves at Snoehvit.

A news release said that well was completed in mid-2007, and that it showed even less oil that previously estimated.

What was that about an Arctic oil rush?