Norway Oil, Gas Production Seen At Current Level Next 10 Yrs

(Dow Jones Newswires), Oct. 12, 2011

Norway's oil and gas production is expected to remain at current levels for the next 10 years, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said Wednesday.

The state-run agency, tasked with overseeing Norway's oil and gas activities, said measures to increase recovery and starting up production from discoveries will contribute to maintaining production, even as it expects a gradual decline in production from major fields.

After 2020, production from undiscovered resources will account for a rising share of expected production, the directorate said in connection with the publication of its Resource Report for 2011, adding that this increases the uncertainty of production forecasts over the longer term.

In January, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate revised down estimates for undiscovered resources on the Norwegian continental shelf, to 2.6 billion standard cubic meters of oil equivalents from 3.3 billion standard cubic meters of oil equivalents.

Norway has struggled with declining oil production since output peaked in 2001 and though two major oil finds this year have injected fresh hope and renewed energy in the country's petroleum industry, the January estimates stand, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate told Dow Jones Newswires September.

Though the two discoveries, in the North Sea and the Barents Sea, could stave off a steep decline in Norway's production in the mid-term, they won't reverse the longer downward trend.

The new discoveries in 2011 are not included in the Directorate's latest statistics, as all resource figures are reported as of Dec. 31, 2010, it said Wednesday.

Still, they confirm that there are significant undiscovered resources on the Norwegian shelf, it said.

Resources in discoveries that haven't been approved for development as of Dec. 31, 2010 amount to 5% of the total expected resources on the Norwegian shelf, it added.

Norway is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter and the second-largest gas exporter in Europe. The petroleum industry is Norway's largest and most important industry.

Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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