Norway will be able to sustain gas production at last year’s elevated level until at least 2026 thanks to 300 billion Norwegian kroner ($30 billion) of investment in new offshore fields.
“Only rarely have we seen so much oil and gas produced on the Norwegian shelf as was the case last year – and only rarely have we seen such significant investment decisions,” the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said Monday in its annual report. “Norway has fortified its role as a predictable, long-term supplier of energy to Europe.”
Norway has become the most important supplier of natural gas to Europe, following Russia’s decision to squeeze gas supplies to the continent after its invasion of Ukraine. The Nordic country’s output rose 8% in 2022 to 122 billion cubic meters, the highest in five years, according to the NPD. It will stay at similar levels for the next four to five years, the directorate said, adding that the fuel now accounts for more than half the production from the Norwegian continental shelf.
The government received 13 new field-development plans last year, as companies including Equinor ASA and Aker BP ASA rushed to take advantage of Covid-era tax breaks that expired at the end of December. The investments will boost Norway’s reserves by an estimated 252 million cubic meters of oil equivalent, half of which is gas. Norwegian producers spent 120 billion kroner investing and developing fields in 2021.
There were 11 discoveries in 2022, following the completion of 32 exploration wells. Some were “smaller than expected, which caused a lower resource growth than in the three previous years,” the directorate said.