Norway Has More Oil than a Decade Ago

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported Wednesday that current recoverable oil on the Norwegian Continental Shelf exceeds the estimated figure for 2005.

A select number of producing fields and 62 discoveries, for which development decisions had not been made in 2005, were reviewed in order to determine the latest figures. Over the course of the ten-year period, 28 of these discoveries were developed and their oil reserves have nearly doubled. The NPD has attributed this to new information, better reservoir understanding and optimization of development solutions and drainage strategies.

Discoveries made after 2004 also led to development decisions for 13 new fields, according to the NPD, which have contributed an overall resource growth totaling 2.8 billion standard cubic feet of oil. The Edvard Grieg, Ivar Aasen and Knarr fields account for more than 75 percent of this volume.

The NPD’s latest review was a way to track the agency’s goal from 2005, which was to achieve an oil reserve growth of 28 billion cubic feet, or five billion barrels, over ten years. Although the reserve growth turned out to be significantly less, the goal would have been reached if the development plan for Johan Sverdrup had been submitted before the end of 2014, instead of February 2015.

Assistant Director General for shelf analysis in the NPD Kirsti Veggeland commented in a statement from the government agency:  

"A lot of good work has been done to increase the resources on the Norwegian shelf, and there has been substantial resource growth in many fields. The most important reasons for this are more wells, extended field lifetimes and improved knowledge. Decisions were also made to develop new deposits in the fields over the ten-year period.

"The NPD had hoped that improved recovery measures would account for a greater share of the growth in oil reserves. However, many new opportunities to improve recovery have been identified, and the potential is greater in 2015 than it was ten years ago."

The NPD’s review follows Wood Mackenzie’s report last August, which stated that Norway has 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent of discovered hydrocarbons that are yet to be developed. Oil industry analysts at the research firm indicated that the reserves could potentially add $106 billion dollars to Norway’s oil and gas industry revenues.

A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at


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