Norway Maintains Oil & Gas Estimates

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate believes there are between 1.6 and 5.8 billion standard cubic meters (Sm3) oil equivalents (o.e.) oil, gas, condensate and NGL left to find on the Norwegian shelf.

About 45 per cent of this is liquid and 55 per cent gas. Of the total petroleum volumes about 30 per cent is expected to lie in the Barents Sea (outside area with overlapping claims), 35 per cent in the Norwegian Sea and 35 per cent in the North Sea.

There is considerable uncertainty associated with such estimates. The uncertainty is greatest in the area with least information (the Barents Sea). Uncertainty is also great in the Norwegian Sea, but least in the North Sea, which has been, explored the most.

Although the distribution of the resources between the various areas has changed somewhat, the overall estimate of the total undiscovered resources has not changed since 2003. This in spite of the fact that oil and gas have been proven since the previous estimate was made. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's latest review has confirmed a number of the assumptions, which formed the basis for the previous estimate. Substantial mapping has been carried out in connection with frequent APA rounds (Awards in Predefined Areas) and licensing rounds. This has yielded new information on the prospectivity of large parts of the shelf and increased the expectations for how much oil remains to be found. Moreover, recent years' exploration results in the Barents Sea have increased expectations for oil discoveries here, in part at the expense of expectations for gas.

No new analysis has been made at this time of the possibility of finding oil and gas outside Lofoten and Vesteralen. This is because the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) has assigned the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate the task of collecting geophysical data and mapping this area.

The estimates of the undiscovered resources are based on the whole range of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's competence. The point of departure is mapping of the geology on the shelf, both in areas that are opened and in areas that have not been opened for exploration.

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