Oil companies in Norway have more to rejoice about than just higher crude prices: they’re now boasting the best exploration results in almost a decade.
If they keep that pace up, explorers could find close to 1 billion barrels of new oil and gas this year for the first time since the landmark discovery of the giant Johan Sverdrup oil field in 2010.
The results are a welcome boost to Norway, which depends on exploration success to replenish a dwindling project pipeline and limit a drop in production from the middle of the next decade. The nation is emerging from a bruising three-year slump that saw oil companies cut budgets to the bone, strangling exploration activity. Results in the promising Arctic Barents Sea, which saw record efforts last year despite the downturn, were also a disappointment.
The tide could now be turning: with 10 wildcat wells completed in 2018, explorers have found about 330 million barrels of oil equivalent, according to Bloomberg calculations based on the mid-point estimate for all discoveries reported by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. That’s already more than what the 24 wildcat wells delivered last year. And it’s the best performance per well since the Sverdrup discovery pushed the 2010 average to almost 100 million barrels.
Published: November 15, 2018