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Norway’s got plenty left on the shelf

Norway’s got plenty left on the shelf
Oil and gas firms are expected to invest more than £18billion in Norwegian developments this year.

Oil and gas firms are expected to invest more than £18billion in Norwegian developments this year.

Figures from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the country’s oil and gas agency, reveal that investment in the Norwegian Continental Shelf, excluding exploration costs, is expected to increase by 5% every year for the next five years, hitting nearly £22billion in 2017.

It comes after the NPD said 16 field developments are currently underway in the Norwegian North Sea, with a further 20 in the pipeline before the end of 2014.

The NPD said Norwegian gas sales hit a record high last year.

It comes after operator Centrica agreed a £13billion, 10-year deal with Statoil to import enough gas to meet about 5% of the UK’s annual demand at the end of 2011 and the NPD estimated that gas would represent more than half of Norway’s petroleum sales in the next five years.

Norway’s oil production declined more than expected last year but the NPD said after another fall in 2013 it expected output to remain static until 2017.

It said 13 new discoveries were made last year: five in the North Sea, five in the Norwegian Sea and three in the Barents Sea.

The resources in the new finds are estimated at about 830.2million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), which amounts to 58% of oil production in 2012.

The largest oil find was Statoil’s Havis discovery in the Barents and the plan is to develop this with Skrugard, which was drilled in 2011.

Together, they are estimated to contain up to 600million barrels of oil equivalent.

NPD director general Bente Nyland said: “A high oil price, high level of exploration success and high activity level also set high expectations for the industry.

“These expectations are laid down in the petroleum white paper and deal with just that – making discoveries, developing the discoveries and, not least, improving recovery from producing fields.”

Last year, the NPD reviewed Norway’s undiscovered resources and increased its estimate by nearly 4% to 85.5billion boe.

Ms Nyland said: “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.”

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