Norway Petroleum output may reach new peak in 2023, NPD says

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Norway Petroleum output may reach new peak in 2023, NPD says


Category: Energy

After a disappointing year for drillers, Norwegian authorities are reviewing their hopes for the Nordic country’s hottest exploration area.

“In the part of the Barents Sea that’s currently open, you’ve sort of tried the elephants — the big opportunities,” Bente Nyland, the head of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, said in an interview. “You’re now down to the next generation in size.”

 That means the industry regulator would be happy with any discovery of about 500 million barrels of oil, she said. That’s a far cry from the multibillion barrel deposits discovered in the North Sea, which have helped Norway become one of the world’s richest countries over the past decades.

Apart from Statoil ASA’s Snohvit gas field, no single discovery in the Barents has reached half a billion barrels. A record drilling campaign in the region last year yielded only one oil discovery with commercial potential. A particular disappointment was Statoil’s Korpfjell well, the first to be drilled in the newly-opened Barents Sea South-East region abutting Russian waters. Estimated to have billion-barrel potential, the prospect proved to hold only unprofitable amounts of gas.

Norway will in the coming years enjoy a revival in oil and gas production that the industry wouldn’t have dared to dream of just a few years ago, the NPD predicted in annual forecasts published on Thursday. But the dismal exploration results and moderate expectations for discoveries in the Barents still represent a threat to output in the second part of next decade. The Arctic area holds more than half of Norway’s undiscovered resources, and will be key if Norway wants to limit a forecast drop in output after 2023.
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Source: Bloomberg