STAVANGER -- In the third quarter, production on the Norwegian continental shelf remained stable and higher than forecasted, according to a report by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD). Oil production declined slightly, while gas production rose. Drilling activity remained high and more exploration wells were drilled in the third quarter of this year than in the same period in 2008.
Oil production fell from 2.11 MMb/d in 3Q 2008 to 1.94 MMb/d in the third quarter of this year. Including condensate and natural gas liquids (NGL), daily production of liquids fell from 2.38 to 2.28 MMbbl.
Fig.1 Daily production of oil per month compared with last year and forecast
Fig.2 Daily production of liquid per month compared with last year
In the third quarter, 22.69 bcm of gas was produced on the Norwegian shelf, compared with 19.87 bcm in the same period last year.
Fig.3 Gas production per month compared with last year
Total petroleum production from the Norwegian shelf in the third quarter was 56.09 MMcmoe. Production in 3Q 2008 was 54.65 MMcmoe.
Five new discoveries were made on the shelf in the third quarter, all of which were small.
Three of the discoveries were made in the North Sea:
• 35/12-2, oil and gas, 6-30 MMcmoe (July 8)
• 16/1-12, oil, size not determined (Sept. 7)
• 35/3-7 S, gas, 3-8 bcm, total together with earlier discoveries (Sept. 18).
Two discoveries were made in the Norwegian Sea:
• 6507/3-7, gas, 0.6-3 MMcmoe (July 17)
• 6407/2-5 S, oil and gas, 1-2 bcm of gas and 2-5 MMcm of recoverable oil (Sept. 7).
Sixteen exploration wells were completed on the Norwegian continental shelf in the third quarter, four more than in the same period last year. There were 19 mobile drilling facilities in action on the shelf, compared with 21 in the same period last year.
Twenty-nine development wells and four branch wells were spudded. In the same period in 2008, 33 development wells and eight branch wells were spudded.
Fig.4 Completed exploration wells drilled in 2008 and 1Q, 2Q, 3Q 2009 by area and type of well.
At the expiration of the application deadline for awards in predefined areas (APA) 2009 on the Norwegian continental shelf, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy had received applications from 44 companies. The Ministry plans to award new production licenses in APA 2009 towards the end of the year.