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Norwegian oil production drops

As expected, oil production was somewhat lower in 2007 than in the previous year, while gas production has increased. This is shown by figures from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

The report says 32 exploration wells were spudded in 2007, up from 26 in 2006. Twelve new discoveries were made, most of which appear to be fairly small. However, the shelf is characterized by vigorous activity and continued growth in total investment costs, the report says. A total of 237.8 million standard cubic meters (Sm³) marketable oil equivalents (o.e.) were produced in 2007. This is 26.2 million Sm³ o.e. less than in the record year 2004.

The Norwegian oil production is going down. We are soon moving from being an oil nation to become a gas nation, said Oil Director Bente Nyland during the presentation of the report. The activity level on the Norwegian shelf is high. Higher oil prices have led to significant increases in both activity and cost levels. Continued growth in total investment costs is expected.

Four new fields have commenced production during the course of the year: Blane, Enoch, Ormen Lange and Snøhvit. An additional three fields are expected to start producing in 2008: Alvheim, Vilje and Volve. During the course of 2007, 8 plans for development and operation (PDO) were approved for 9 new deposits. Around 10 PDOs are expected to be submitted to the authorities in 2008. A total of 13 new companies were pre-qualified as licensees or operators on the Norwegian shelf in 2007. 14 companies are currently being considered.

32 exploration wells were spudded in 2007, of which 20 were wildcat wells and 12 were appraisal wells. 33 exploration wells have been completed. In 2006 the NPD expected around 30 exploration wells to be spudded. The NPD believes that the high exploration activity will continue in 2008. There is no significant change in the overall estimate for petroleum resources on the Norwegian shelf as of 31 December 2007. The estimate is 13 billion Sm3 o.e.

The accounts show relatively good growth from exploration activity and an increase in gross reserves, the Directorate reports. (NRK/Press release)