OSLO – The expected record investments in Norway's oil and gas sector in 2013 were adjusted up in the third quarter survey, official data showed Thursday.
The oil and gas investments in the country's lucrative offshore sector are expected to be 204 billion Norwegian kroner ($35 billion) in 2013, according to the third quarter survey, Statistics Norway said, the highest estimate since the agency started measuring oil investments in 1985.
The 2013 estimate was NOK 9.8 billion higher than in the second quarter survey, the agency said.
Oil and gas investments in 2012 were adjusted slightly down to NOK 184.9 billion.
The quarterly petroleum investment statistics are based on estimates submitted from oil and gas companies operating offshore Norway.
The biggest part of the investments is spent on maintaining output in currently producing fields, and is estimated at NOK 96.9 billion, up from an estimate of NOK 93.5 billion in the previous quarter.
The biggest investments are expected in giants such as the Statoil-operated Troll and Oseberg, and the ConocoPhilips-operated Ekofisk, Statistics Norway said.
Investments in new fields are expected to total NOK 62.1 billion in 2013, up from an estimate of NOK 61 billion in the second quarter survey.
The most expensive new fields are the Eni-operated Barents Sea field Goliat, the ConocoPhilips-operated Eldfisk II, and the Lundin Petroleum-operated Edvard Grieg field, the statistics agency said.
Investments in exploration in 2013 are estimated at NOK 40.7 billion, up from the second quarter estimate of NOK 35.4 billion.
Oil and gas companies plan a huge increase in the drilling of new production wells and exploration wells in 2013, expecting to spend NOK 101.6 billion. This is a significant upward adjustment from the second quarter estimate of NOK 93.6 billion.
"There is reason to believe that some wells planned to be drilled in 2013 will be postponed to 2014," Statistics Norway said, due to capacity constraints such as the lack of rigs.
Four new rigs have been added on the Norwegian continental shelf so far in 2012, and two new rigs are expected in early 2013, the agency said.
Several additional projects are expected to be approved by the summer of 2013, including Aasta Hansteen, Draupne and Dagny/Eirin. This will likely increase the 2013 investments even further from today's record levels, according to Statistics Norway.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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