Norway Saw High Investment Level in 2003

Substantial investments are still being made on the Norwegian shelf. It seems investments in 2003 will be NOK 62 billion, excluding exploration expenses. There is every indication that the investment level will increase also in the years to come.

In the course of 2003 the authorities received seven applications for Plans for Development and Operations (PDO) and PDO exemptions. In addition, two Plans for Installation and Operation (PIO) were submitted.

The most extensive applications concerned the development of 6305/5-1 Ormen Lange (including PIO for Langeled) and a revised PDO for Ekofisk (Ekofisk Growth). The number of applications is expected to increase this year.

Investments for 2003 are estimated at about NOK 62 billion (2003) excluding exploration costs. This is 10 billion more than last year. Preliminary figures indicate that the investment level will increase further from 2003.

We are in a substantial investment period on the Norwegian shelf. It is estimated that nearly NOK 300 billion will be invested on the shelf in the period 2004 – 2008.

The investment level reflects increased activities linked both to approved projects (e.g. the development of Ormen Lange and Snøhvit) and a number of projects that have not yet been approved (e.g. gas discoveries in the Norwegian Sea and improved recovery projects on existing fields).

There is substantial uncertainty related to future investment levels on the Norwegian continental shelf. This particularly concerns phasing in projects in terms of time which to date have not been approved for implementation. In addition, the investment profile may change due to a time displacement and the level of approved projects.

The investments in the period 2004 – 2008 are divided among 27 percent for pipeline and land facilities, 39 percent for production wells and 35 percent for modification of existing installations, plus building new installations.

The distribution of the investments has changed markedly compared with the last ten-year period. The share of investments in installations has been halved.

It is expected that 16 percent of the investments in the period 2004 – 2008 will be for building new installations. This concerns the Ormen Lange development and other gas developments in the Norwegian Sea, plus new installations in the southern part of the North Sea. Investments in new installations in 2003 accounted for about NOK 16 billion.

Operating costs, excluding CO2 tax and tariffs, amounted to about NOK 33 billion in 2003. It is expected that this level will be maintained in the next few years.
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