Norwegian production set for development boost

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway – Exploration and development is expected to stay strong offshore Norway over the next five years, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s (NPD) annual review.

Total production across the shelf is expected to stay around the same level as in 2012, NPD adds.

Last year there were 13 new discoveries, five in the Norwegian North Sea, five in the Norwegian Sea, and three in the Barents Sea, out of 41 exploration wells.

The largest new oil find was Havis (well 7220/7-1) in the Barents Sea, which Statoil plans to develop with the Skrugard field, discovered in 2011. Both finds spurred interest in Barents Sea applications for last year’s 22nd licensing round, NPD says.

During 2012 Statoil and Lundin drilled more appraisal wells on the giant Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea. Additionally, Statoil found gas in the southern Norwegian North Sea with a well on the King Lear structure, while Wintershall found oil in Skarfjell in the northern Norwegian North Sea.

NPD estimates resources in the new finds at 132 MMcmoe (839 MMboe), corresponding to 58% of total oil production in 2012.

Currently, 16 Norwegian field developments are in progress, and companies are working on proposals for a further 20 plans for development and operation over the next two years.

NPD expects total investment, excluding exploration, at NOK 157 billion ($28.5 billion) in 2013, rising to about NOK 190 billion ($34.4 billion) in 2017, an annual growth rate close to 5%. Much of this is taken up by operations from mobile drilling rigs.

Norway’s petroleum production will probably dip this year before rising again in 2014, and then level off until 2017. Gas is expected to account for more than half of Norway’s petroleum sales during the five-year period.

Finally, NPD has lifted its estimate of the country’s undiscovered resources from 13.1 to 13.6 Bcmoe (82.4 to 85.5 Bboe.

“The increase in the resource estimate and major new discoveries show that the Norwegian shelf still has some surprises left, and that there is good reason for continued optimism on behalf of the oil and gas activities in Norway,” said NPD director Bente Nyland.


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