OSLO, Norway – The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD)’s newly issued 2018 Resource Report for Exploration says new and larger discoveries are needed to sustain production offshore Norway at current levels after the mid-2020s.
The report highlights the substantial remaining potential for oil and gas on the Norwegian shelf, both in mature and less explored areas.
Improved understanding of the areas, better data, new work methods and technology could all help deliver further profitable discoveries, the authors add, if the industry steps up exploration.
According to NPD exploration director Torgeir Stordal, the report shows that after more than 50 years of activity offshore Norway, around 55% of the anticipated oil and gas resources remain to be produced, while just under half have not yet been discovered.
The estimate for undiscovered resources is 4,000 MMcmoe: around two-thirds are likely to be found in theBarents Sea, with the remainder distributed between the North Sea and Norwegian Sea.
Stordal said the industry had shown considerable interest inNorway’s most recent licensing round, and that exploration was picking up after a few quieter years.
In recent years the discoveries have been smaller than before, and it has proven more difficult to find new oil and gas deposits. However, new technology has provided better data and better tools, and these have contributed to new insights and new exploration concepts, the report found.
“This development will continue. The combination of better geotechnical expertise and digital technology will probably become the key to identifying new resources in the years to come,” Stordal said.