NPD reports on Norwegian continental shelf resources

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has released its resource account, an overview of the estimated quantities of recoverable petroleum resources on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Offshore staff

STAVANGER -- The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has released its resource account, an overview of the estimated quantities of recoverable petroleum resources on the Norwegian continental shelf. Recoverable petroleum resources consist of both the original marketable and the remaining petroleum resources.

The resource estimates are based on reports submitted annually by the operating companies, NPD evaluations for fields and discoveries, and NPD estimates of undiscovered resources. This account shows the estimated geographical distribution for the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Barents Sea.

The resources on the Norwegian continental shelf are classified according to maturity as shown in the NPD's resource classification, reflecting the maturity, or project status, with regard to decisions to develop and produce the discovered petroleum quantities.

The total recoverable petroleum resources on the Norwegian shelf as of Dec. 31, 2008 are estimated at approximately 13 bcm of oil equivalents. This figure is more or less the same compared to last year's account, the NPD says. This year's account shows that 25 discoveries have been made in 2008. The volumes in the new discoveries are small and the volume varies between 1 MMcm of oil equivalents and 26MMcm of oil equivalents. There has also been an increase in gross oil reserves with 29 MMcm.

The estimates of the undiscovered resources have not changed according to last year's account. The estimate is 1.260 bcm of oil, 0.265 bcm of condensate, and 1875 bcm of gas, a total of 3.400 bcm of oil equivalents, which represents 41% of the remaining resources.

The remaining total recoverable resources are estimated at 8.4 bcm of oil equivalents with an uncertainty range from 5.3 to 12.0 bcm of oil equivalents.

A total of 243 MMcm of oil equivalents were sold and delivered in 2008. This is 5 MMcm of oil equivalents more than in 2007. The split is 122 MMcm of oil, 101 bcm of gas, 15 MMcm of NGL, and 4 MMcm of condensate.

Twenty-five new discoveries were made in 2008 -- 12 in the North Sea, four in the Barents Sea, and nine in the Norwegian Sea. The expected volume of the new discoveries is estimated at 50 MMcm of oil and 72 bcm of gas. The uncertainty range is between 33 to 81 MMcm of oil and 49 to 97 bcm of gas. Compared to 2007, this constitutes a considerable increase in resource growth. The evaluation of the size of the discoveries is ongoing and the figures are uncertain, the NPD reports.

As of Dec. 31, 2008, eleven fields were being developed -- Alve, Gjøa, Morvin, Rev, Skarv, Tyrihans, Vega, Vega Sør, Volund, Yme, and Yttergryta. Rev and Yttergryta started production in January 2009. According to plans, the fields Alve, Tyrihans, Yme, and Volund will start production later in 2009.

Gross oil and gas reserves increased with 39 MMcm of oil equivalents in 2008. This is due to an increase in reserves on several fields such as Tyrihans, Ula, and Alvheim. In addition, PDO approval for Morvin and Yttergryta and development decision for 3/7-4 Trym resulted in resources entered as reserves. With a production of 243 MMcm of oil equivalents, the resource account show a net reduction in remaining reserves of 204 MMcm of oil equivalents – a reduction of nearly 6%.

The authorities' goal is to mature 800 MMcm of oil as reserves within ten years prior to 2015. Twenty-nine MMcm of oil were entered as reserves in 2008. Accumulated gross oil reserve growth since 2005 is now 232 MMcm of oil. This is 29% of the authorities' goal of adding 5 Bbbl of oil to the reserve base before 2015.

Contingent resources in fields have increased with 34 MMcm of oil equivalents. The reason for this increase is a general maturing of projects in existing fields and that new projects to improve long-term recovery have been initiated.

Contingent resources in discoveries (not yet approved for development) have increased with 129 MMcm of oil equivalents compared with last year's estimate. This is due to a relatively good resource growth from exploration in 2008. In addition, six discoveries are evaluated by a new operator. Last year, recovery of these discoveries was regarded as unlikely. In total, 73 discoveries are not yet approved for development and 34 % of the discoveries are in the planning phase.


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