Exploration drilling led to eight discoveries in the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, and Barents Sea from the 17 wells completed. Their collective resources could be more than double the volume of oil and gas in the Goliat field in the Barents Sea, which is estimated to hold more than 31 MMcmoe.
The NPD points out that all the finds were in mature producing areas, close to other fields and within development reach of existing infrastructure.
Exploration activity should remain strong over the remainder of the year, with the NPD predicting around 40 exploration wells in total for 2021, compared to the 31 spudded in 2020.
Torgeir Stordal, director of technology and coexistence, said: “The addition of oil and gas resources from new discoveries, like we have seen so far this year, is necessary to prevent a sharp decline in petroleum industry activity after 2030.
During the first half of 2021, 94 development wells have been drilled across the Norwegian shelf. Up from 86 for the same period in 2020.
So far this year, the authorities have also approved three new plans for development and operation for Breidablikk in the North Sea, the Northern Lights’ CO2 storage Longship project, and a new plan for power from shore to the Troll field in the North Sea.
Ten fields are under development and a wave of projects looks set to go forward, the NPD added, with potentially 50 projects facing investment decisions by the end of 2022, with estimated total investments of around NOK380 billion ($42.8 billion).
Some have likely been accelerated by the government’s temporary amendment to the Petroleum Tax Act.