A report due to be published by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) today will claim there are still “plenty” of oil and gas discoveries to be made in the North Sea, the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea.
The NPD’s 2018 Resource Report for Exploration, predicts increased oil and gas production going forward, but warns that big and new discoveries must be made to maintain that level post-2025.
The report claims that mature and less explored regions still hold a “significant” amount of oil and gas and that exploration and discovery will hold the key to future high hydrocarbon yields.
Torgeir Stordal, NPD exploration director, said: “This report includes an updated overview of undiscovered petroleum resources on the shelf. It shows that after more than 50 years of activity, about 55 percent of anticipated oil and gas resources have yet to be produced. Of these, just under half have not even been discovered.”
The NPD report adds that it believes there is still “about 40 Johan Castberg fields” yet to be discovered.
About two-thirds of the undiscovered resources are said to be located in the Barents Sea with the rest is distributed between the North Sea and Norwegian Sea.
Mr Stordal said: “The figures tell us that opportunities on the Norwegian shelf are great and could provide the basis for oil and gas production for decades to come.
“The authorities facilitate regular access to acreage through licensing rounds. The industry has shown considerable interest in the most recent rounds, and after a few years of less exploration activity we are seeing this pick up again. This is important for the resource potential to be proven and produced.”
As has been the case within the UK North Sea since the recent oil downturn, the NPD is advocating the exploration and extraction from smaller wells in tandem with the search for larger, more profitable, discoveries.
New technology is now being investigated as a source of better data and better tools.
Mr Stordal added: “This development will continue. The combination of better geotechnical expertise and digital technology will probably become the key to identifying new resources in the years to come.
“This could become a new chapter in the story of Norway’s ocean resources.”