Statoil said it plans to increase its exploration efforts off Canada's east coast as it released its fourth quarter results on Friday. 

The Norwegian oil giant also said its assessing its big oil discovery off Newfoundland to see when it can be developed.

Statoil found an untapped oilfield off Canada's east coast in the Bay du Nord area while drilling in August of 2013.

Bay du Nord is in deep water about 500 kilometres northeast of St. John's.

The oil company estimated that there were between 300 and 600 million barrels of recoverable oil, making it the largest oil find in the world last year.

Geir Richardsen, vice-president of exploration for Statoil Canada, said the drilling program to take place between July and September this year should help determine a more precise volume of the reservoir.

"It's a great day for us," he said. "We're embarking on a long-term operation because we believe in the area and we have great hopes for the future."

Richardsen said the area around Bay du Nord is about 1,100 metres deep, making it deeper than other sites like White Rose, Hibernia and Terra Nova which are about 100 metres down.

In addition, the company announced plans to cut overall capital spending by $5 billion over the next two years.

Calgary-based Husky Energy is Statoil's partner in the area, with a 35 per cent working interest in three discoveries.