Norway Increases Budget for Seismic Activity

The Government's 2007 national budget proposal aims to strengthen the activities of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD). The increased funding will primarily be used for collecting seismic data and improved mapping of the Norwegian continental shelf.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's budget will be increased by approx. NOK 70 million, mainly in order to follow up the Storting White Paper on an integrated management plan concerning the marine environment of the Barents Sea and the sea areas off Lofoten (the Integrated Management Plan). According to the Management Plan, the NPD shall conduct geological mapping of the Nordland VII and Troms II areas. This includes collection of seismic data.

"The funding will allow us to plan and start the work with seismic surveys as presupposed by the Storting. To be able to complete the work, funding over a three-year period will be necessary," says Director General of the NPD, Gunnar Berge.

Earlier seismic mapping has indicated that there may be petroleum deposits of interest in these areas.

"Better data than is currently available is needed to improve knowledge of the resource potential in the area. Geological mapping of unopened areas on the Norwegian shelf is one of the most important tasks of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate," says Berge.

He emphasizes that the aim of the data collection is to provide Norwegian authorities with improved knowledge of the northern areas.

The Government's budget proposal aims to increase the geological knowledge of the continental shelf as well as improving the quality of the data.

"We need more seismic data in areas with little coverage to close gaps in our knowledge of the resource base in the northern areas," says Berge.

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