This $65 Billion Oil Opportunity Will Never Be Tapped

10 Aug 2017   Norway

Western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer, Norway, is also one of the countries that is most self-congratulatory on its climate action, electric cars sales, and green policies. One of the central—and most controversial—issues in the campaign leading up to a general election next month is whether Norway’s scenic Lofoten archipelago should remain off-limits for oil exploration and development. Estimates have put the potential oil resources underneath the picturesque islands at between 1.3 billion and 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, estimated to be worth US$60-65 billion at today’s oil prices. The two biggest parties in Norway—the Conservative Party currently in power in a coalition government and the opposition Labor Party— are favoring initial steps to start an environmental impact assessment for the Lofoten area. However, both parties need coalitions with smaller parties to form a government after the September election. And all the potential junior partners of both […]

Barents Sea yields little for Norway’s Statoil

9 Aug 2017   Norway

Norwegian energy company Statoil finds only small amounts of gas after looking to build up its oil portfolio in the Barents Sea. Image courtesy Statoil Aug. 7 (UPI) — Norwegian energy company Statoil said Monday it was upbeat about finding more oil and natural gas despite disappointing results in the Barents Sea. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate confirmed a minor discovery in the so-called Hoop Area in the Barents Sea. Known as a wildcat well, one drilled into an area not previously known to hold oil and gas reserves, the NPD said only minor reserves were found at the site, located about 20 miles northeast of a proved discovery. Statoil said it was looking for both oil and natural gas, but only uncovered small amounts of gas. The NPD said the discovery was “not profitable as of today.” Jez Averty, the senior vice president in charge of regional exploration for […]

Big Oil’s Dream of $65 Billion Hidden Off Norway Is Fading Away

7 Aug 2017   Norway

Norway’s oil industry has been salivating for years over the Arctic Lofoten islands, which could hold billions of barrels of crude. It will likely have to keep dreaming. The general election next month is unlikely to lift a deadlock that’s keeping a ban on drilling off the environmentally sensitive archipelago as more and more Norwegians are turning their backs on the industry that helped make the country one of the world’s richest. “It’s a dead issue,” said Frank Aarebrot, a professor of political science at the University of Bergen. Backed by unions and business, Norway’s two biggest parties, Labor and the Conservatives, have long favored steps that could open up the area for exploration. But so far they have had to compromise with smaller parties that are determined to keep Lofoten oil-free. That’s because the area is a natural wonder. The waters off the rugged archipelago are home to […]

Seadrill Warns Again Of Chapter 11 As Extends $14B Debt Talks

27 Jul 2017   Norway

Offshore drilling contractor Seadrill again delayed restructuring its $14 billion in debt and liabilities on Wednesday and reiterated that Chapter 11 bankruptcy was likely. Once the biggest offshore rig firm by market value and the crown jewel in the business empire of Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen, Seadrill shares have fallen 99 percent from a September 2013 peak. The company’s business has struggled as energy firms have slashed investment due to a more than 50 percent fall in the price of crude oil since 2014. “(Seadrill) has reached an agreement with its bank group to extend the comprehensive restructuring plan negotiating period until Sept. 12,” the firm said in a statement, pushing back a previous July 31 deadline and the latest of several delays. The company […]

Norway’s Giant Gas Field Is Set For Record Output

18 Jul 2017   Norway

The giant gas field that holds around 40 percent of total gas reserves on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) is set to produce a record amount of gas this year, just as gas demand in the UK is on the rise. Output at Norwegian field Troll —operated by Statoil—is expected to rise to record levels this year after Norway increased its production allowance for the field’s gas output, Bloomberg quoted a senior Statoil manager as saying. “They are gently and carefully opening the valve for Troll,” Tor Martin Anfinnsen, senior vice president for marketing and trading at Statoil, told Bloomberg in a phone interview last week. “There is higher demand in particular from the U.K. now but that doesn’t affect how much we produce in total, it more affects where we route the gas,” Anfinnsen noted. The UK—a large consumer of Norwegian gas—has vowed to shut all coal-fired power […]

Norway’s DNO financed for drilling in Kurdish region of Iraq

11 Jul 2017   Iraq, Norway

Norwegian energy company DNO said there’s been a steady string of financial support for its operations in the Kurdish north of Iraq. Photo courtesy of DNO July 10 (UPI) — Steady payments from a Kurdish government preparing an independence referendum in Iraq means more capital for drilling, Norway’s DNO International said. Budgetary constraints for the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government caused contractual issues with international energy companies working in the region in the past. The Norwegian company said payments for exports and other work, however, have continued steadily for more than a year, which backed up its appraisal program in the Kurdish north. “With 16 consecutive monthly export payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government in line with contractual entitlements, we’ve ramped up drilling with three rigs currently active across the portfolio,” Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said in a statement . The company exported the bulk of what it produced from […]

Is Arctic Drilling Still Profitable For Norway?

10 Jul 2017   Arctic, Norway

Arctic drilling may become unprofitable for Norway if oil prices continue to fall, says a new report looking into the best and worst scenarios for this new frontier in the context of the new normal for international prices. The report comes on the heels of a tender that saw a record-high number of Arctic exploration licenses—102—the vast majority of them in the Barents Sea. The report’s authors, Mads Greaker and Knut Einar Rosendahl, revise significantly downward previous government estimates for the profitability of Arctic exploration, which were made back in 2012 and 2013 when the price of a barrel of crude was much higher than the US$49 for Brent today. At today’s prices, the study’s authors argue, Norway’s Arctic exploration could actually lead to a loss of US$240 million (2 billion crowns), under the worst-case scenario. Under the best-case scenario, profits would be US$4.92 billion (41 billion crowns). This […]

More gas coming from offshore Norway in 2019

7 Jul 2017   Norway

More natural gas is expected to come out of the Norwegian Sea within the next two years or so, Norwegian energy company Statoil said Thursday. Statoil said it’s agreed on a development solution for the Snefrid Nord gas discovery, located near the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea. “The discovery, scheduled to come on stream in late 2019, will be tied back to Aasta Hansteen,” the company said in a statement . After making a series of natural gas discoveries there, Norwegian energy company Statoil characterized the Aasta Hansteen reserve area as “one of the main projects” in its portfolio. A process to lay the 300-mile long Polarled pipeline from the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea across the Arctic Circle to a […]

Norway could get economic lift from northern oil field

27 Jun 2017   Norway

Norwegian energy company Statoil said Monday it expected some economic spillovers would come from support centers for its Johan Castberg field. The company said the northern port city of Hammerfest, located in Finnmark county, would serve as supply and helicopter base for the development of the Johan Castberg field. Statoil said it aims to invest around $135 million per year on the field, which it said would equate to about 1,700 man years, a unit of the work done by one person in a year. “We will seek to recruit as many as possible from Finnmark to the offshore organization,” Siri Espedal Kindem, a regional vice president for Statoil, said in a statement . “We have therefore contacted the county administration […]

Norwegian oil production better than expected

22 Jun 2017   Norway

Crude oil production from Norway, the region’s top supplier, was better than expected, a national energy regulator said Wednesday. Norway is a main oil and natural gas supplier for the European economy, designating nearly all of its offshore production for exports. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation’s energy regulator, said preliminary figures for May were lower than the previous month, but better than expected. Based on preliminary data, the average production for May was 1.98 million barrels per day for oil, natural gas liquids and condensate, an ultra light form of oil. That’s about 5 percent less than the previous month. About 80 percent of the total volume was oil and the NPD said the 1.61 million barrels per […]

Norway Risks Oil, Gas Output Cut If Wage Talks Fail

10 Jun 2017   Norway

5 Norwegian oil and gas fields will shut down production unless a wage deal is agreed with the Lederne trade union, an industry lobby group says. OSLO, June 9 (Reuters) – Five Norwegian oil and gas fields will shut down production unless a wage deal is agreed with the Lederne trade union, an industry lobby group said on Friday. The shutdown would affect fields operated by Statoil , Shell and Eni and would cut output by 443,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOG) said in a statement. The deadline for the talks is at midnight Friday (2200 GMT), but shutdowns would only start on Sunday, the lobby group said. Voluntary negotiations broke down last month and the two sides now face a mandatory process under a state-appointed mediator before any strike is allowed by Norwegian law. “The industry still faces significant challenges […]

Norway at least doubles Barents Sea reserve estimate

26 Apr 2017   Norway

 The estimated amount of undiscovered oil and gas in the Norwegian waters of the Barents Sea is likely twice what was previously assumed, the government said. Apart from Russia, Norway is the lead oil and natural gas exporter to the European market, designating nearly all of its offshore production for European Union demand. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said new data from eastern and northern parts of the Barents Sea, areas previously a source of dispute with Russia, led to upward revisions of the reserve estimate by up to 65 percent. NPD Director General Bente Nyland said figures still carry a degree of uncertainty, but added the Barents Sea in general is already expecting a record this […]

Barents Sea Oil Reserves Twice As Big As Previously Thought

26 Apr 2017   Norway

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Tuesday that its latest estimates show that the undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Barents Sea are twice as large as previously thought, drawing criticism from green groups over potential opening up of drilling in sensitive iced areas. The NPD has recently mapped the eastern part of the northern Barents Sea, a large part of which is located in the previously disputed area, “and most of the new information has been collected after the demarcation line agreement with Russia entered into force in the summer of 2011,” the Norwegian oil regulator said. A large part of the resources in the new area—which are estimated at 1.4 billion standard cubic meters of oil equivalents—are not open for drilling, according to the NPD. The Barents Sea could hold a total of 2.8 billion standard cubic meters of oil equivalents, equal to 17.6 billion […]

North Sea Oil Floods to Asia Like Never Before on OPEC Cuts

26 Apr 2017   Asia, Norway

Grade’s premium to Dubai oil has lowest close in seven years Smaller gap makes Brent more attractive to Asian refineries North Sea oil is flooding into Asia like never before thanks to the most competitive crude prices in seven years. OPEC’s own output cuts are partly to blame. Brent, a global benchmark, closed at a premium of just 57 cents a barrel to Dubai crude on Monday, the greatest incentive to move North Sea oil east since June 2010, data from PVM Oil Associates in London show. It was at about $2.50 at the end of November, when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it would cut output. North Sea tankers sailing to Asia soared to a record this month, hauling at least 540,000 barrels a day. Supply of heavy grades, dominating much of the output of Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries, has diminished since OPEC and allied […]

Reserve estimate raised for North Sea oil field

25 Apr 2017   Norway

Norwegian government says there’s more oil than initially estimated in the Edvard Grieg field in the North Sea. Map courtesy of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. April 24 (UPI) — Results of a well on the Edvard Grieg oil field in the North Sea led to an increase in the estimated reserve potential, the Norwegian government said. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said it was assessing the results of an appraisal well drilled in the central waters of the North Sea about 1.5 miles from the platform designated for the Edvard Grieg oil field. Edvard Grieg was proven as an oil field in 2007 and, according to the NPD, operator Lundin Petroleum put the reserve estimate at 220 million barrels of oil equivalents. Based on the results from the latest appraisal well, the NPD said the reserve estimate was revised upwards by between 10 million and 30 million barrels of recoverable […]

Norway’s Statoil plays down risks ahead of Arctic drilling

25 Apr 2017   Arctic, Norway

Norway’s Statoil on Monday played down concerns that drilling in the Arctic is risky, days before it kickstarts its drilling campaign in the Barents Sea, where the country believes around half of its remaining resources could be located. Despite opposition from environmentalists, the company plans to drill five wells in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea, including Korpfjell, which will be the world’s northernmost well and in a formerly disputed border area with Russia “We will start drilling the first well, Blaamann, during May … followed by Kayak, Gemini (Nord), Korpfjell and Koigen (Central),” said a Statoil spokesman, adding each might take about a month to drill. All the wells are in areas free of sea ice thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, with sea and wind conditions similar to the […]

Energy sector putting strain on Norwegian economy

22 Apr 2017   Norway

Most industrial managers expressed optimism about the pace of the economy, though oil and gas suppliers were less convinced, Norway’s government said. Norway is a leading oil and gas supplier to the European economy, designating nearly all of its offshore production toward exports. Tepid growth in Europe, coupled with lower energy prices by relative standards, could be creating issues on the margins of the Norwegian economy. Statistics Norway, the country’s record-keeping agency, reported that industrial managers were developing a sense of optimism as trends moderate toward recovery. “The business tendency survey for the first quarter of 2017 shows that the downturn in total production has leveled off compared with the fourth quarter of 2016,” it reported. “For manufacturers of capital goods, there […]

Statoil cleared for Barents Sea exploration

21 Apr 2017   Norway

 Norwegian energy company Statoil can spend the next month or so drilling an exploration well in a prospect in the Barents Sea, the government said. “Statoil is the operator for production license 532 in the Barents Sea and has received consent to drill exploration well 7219/9-2 in a prospect named Kayak,” the Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway said in a statement . The company will use a mobile drilling rig for the well and drilling should last around 27 days, the government said. The site is about 85 miles northwest of the Goliat license area in the Barents Sea. Production from Goliat comes from 12 oil-producing wells. A peak rate of 100,000 barrels of oil per day is expected. The reserve area […]

Norwegian company envisions wind energy role for oil production

20 Apr 2017   Norway

A Norwegian energy company said it was moving to the next phase of testing for a project that would use wind power to facilitate offshore oil production. DNV GL is leading a joint research project that includes the Norwegian Research Council, the regional subsidiary of Italian energy company ENI and U.S. supermajor Exxon Mobil as its partners. The partnership is testing whether or not wind power could be used to help push water into offshore fields to increase reservoir pressure and stimulate production. The first phase of the wind-powered water injection project, which DNV dubbed WIN-WIN, determined that the design could be used as envisioned. The consortium said it was now moving into a second phase to refine and test the electrical systems. “We […]

Norway issues new drilling permits for North and Barents Seas

8 Apr 2017   Norway

The government of Norway, one of the largest oil and gas exporters to Europe, said Friday it signed off on new drilling permits in its territorial waters. Norwegian energy company Statoil was granted a drilling permit for a well in the Snøhvit field in its northern territorial waters. “This is the first well to be drilled in the license area,” the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate stated. The Norwegian government confirmed a sizable discovery of oil and natural gas at the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea three years ago at 525 billion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas and more than 130 million barrels of recoverable oil reserves. According to government estimates, there are roughly 18 billion barrels […]

Seadrill in a Free Fall Seen Left to Day Traders as Hope Fades

6 Apr 2017   Norway

Seadrill Ltd. , once the crown jewel of billionaire John Fredriksen’s business empire, is at the mercy of short-term speculators as the biggest funds shun the offshore driller amid a struggle to avoid bankruptcy. “It’s trading at option value and day traders are the ones pushing the price up and down,” Anders Bergland, an analyst at Clarksons Platou Securities AS , said Tuesday, right after the company again warned shareholders and bond investors they were facing steep losses in any restructuring deal. “There are no funds buying this right now, it’s trading.” Seadrill fell as much as 29 percent on Wednesday after closing 38 percent down the day before, already at a record low. The stock traded 25 percent lower at 6.51 kroner as of 12:47 p.m. in Oslo. The company has been working on a restructuring of the offshore-drilling industry’s biggest debt load for more than a year. […]

Norway’s Statoil top bidder for U.S. offshore licenses

24 Mar 2017   Norway, USA

As one of the companies with the largest take in a U.S. offshore auction, Norway’s Statoil said it reset its Gulf of Mexico position as the market improves. Statoil was the high bidder on 13 of the tracts up for sale in the latest auction for the rights to drill in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Of the more than two dozen companies with successful bids , Statoil was near the top with company bids of more than $51 million. The company was the successful high bidder in all but two of the leases it targeted in the central waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Erik Haaland, a spokesperson for Statoil, told UPI in […]

Statoil ‘resets’ exploration in U.S. Gulf of Mexico

23 Mar 2017   Norway, Offshore, USA

Norway’s Statoil has “reset” its exploration campaign in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico by placing top bids for 13 offshore deepwater oil and gas leases there in the latest auction, the company said Thursday. The majority state-owned company said in January it was considering whether to end its costly search for oil and gas in the region following a series of exploration failures. Statoil made total bids of $44.5 million in the auction, second only to Shell and ahead of Hess Corp, Chevron and Exxon. The outcome will now be subject to a 90-days formal review and final approval. “We continue to believe in the potential of the Gulf of Mexico,” Statoil’s Tore Loeseth, head of exploration in the U.S. and Mexico, said in a statement. Statoil said it expected its offshore […]

Norway Buries Oil-Tax Incentives as Crude Crisis Fades

8 Mar 2017   Norway

Norway’s government won’t propose any tax incentives for oil companies to boost recovery at aging fields and marginal offshore discoveries before parliamentary elections later this year.  “There are no planned initiatives related to this,” Petroleum and Energy Minister Terje Soviknes said in an interview in Trondheim on Tuesday. “My experience is that the market for the time being seeks stability first of all. It’s been a very demanding three-year period.”

The minister’s comments mark the first time the Conservative-led government rules out such measures, which it promised to consider when it took office in 2013. While stressing the need for stability in the oil industry’s framework conditions, including the tax system, officials from Prime Minister Erna Solberg to Finance Minister Siv Jensen have signaled minor changes could occur in line with the government’s political platform.

Norwegian transport sector tapped for fast-charging EV stations

A German utility company said it was launching a collaborative effort to develop ultra-fast charging stations for electric vehicles across Norway. German company E.ON said it was working through partnership with Denmark based e-mobility service provider CLEVER to develop networks for electric vehicles on main European motorways. The partnership said it was now teaming up with the Norwegian and Danish retail gas station chain YX Energi to build dozens of charging stations across Norway. “This network will also connect Norway with the rest of Scandinavia and Europe,” the German company explained in a statement . “The ultra-fast chargers will be installed from 2018 to 2020.” Norway leads Europe with deployment of electric vehicles, with about 100,000 on the road already. In terms […]

Norway extends permits for Norwegian and North Sea drilling

4 Mar 2017   Norway

Norway’s government pushed forward on expanding oil and gas exploration on the continental shelf Friday with new permits for the North and Norwegian Seas. The Petroleum Safety Authority said Friday it granted a permit to Aker BP to drill an exploration well in the Volund oil field in the North Sea. Volund is in service through a floating production platform and Aker BP aims to probe the potential for new hydrocarbons about 4 miles west of the infrastructure in place at Volund. In its fourth quarter report , Aker BP reported production from the Volund field was lower than the previous quarter by 16 percent. Elsewhere, the regional subsidiary of Spanish energy company Repsol was given permission by the PSA to drill an exploration […]

Rig company Seadrill teeters on the brink

1 Mar 2017   Norway, Offshore

Rig company Seadrill Ltd., based in Norway, said it was looking at restructuring options after noting it didn’t expect improvements in lease rates this year. Energy companies are spending more on exploration and production as crude oil prices settle at around $55 per barrel. Oil prices last year dropped below $30 per barrel and some of the smaller service companies collapsed as a result of the corresponding drop in spending. Seadrill, which counts dozens of deepwater and ultra-deepwater drillships in its fleet, said it was struggling with mounting debt and may have trouble staying afloat. President and CEO Per Wullf said the level of bidding had increased for his company’s services and there was room for some optimism. “Improving dayrates […]

Exxon extends life of Norwegian gas field

28 Feb 2017   Norway

Consent was given to Exxon Mobil to extend the life of a natural gas field in the North Sea because of new production calculations, Norway’s government said. Exxon started production at the Sigyn natural gas field in the Norwegian waters of the North Sea in 2012 and estimated only a five-year lifespan for development. According to the Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway, new calculations from the company show production can be sustained. “We have granted Exxon Mobil consent to extend the lifetime until Dec. 31, 2022,” the government agency said in a consent agreement . Norway is one of the top natural gas suppliers to the European economy, apart from Russia . Europe is working to wean itself off Russian natural gas by relying more […]

Norway Doubles Down On Arctic Oil

21 Feb 2017   Norway

While Canada and the U.S. ban Arctic drilling for oil and gas motivated by environmental concerns, and majors such as Shell pull out of their Arctic projects due to financial pressures, Norwegian energy companies are planning to increase drilling in the country’s Arctic shelf in the Barents Sea. It seems that the limited oil price increase that followed OPEC’s production cut deal has been enough for Statoil and Lundin to decide to allocate more funds to Arctic drilling, especially since the price rise has been accompanied by a major discovery for Lundin and a likely future major discovery for Statoil. Lundin announced earlier this month that it had struck a deposit holding between 35 and 100 million barrels of oil equivalent in its Filicudi prospect in the southern Barents Sea. According to the company, which is exploring the prospect in partnership with Aker BP and Dea, Filicudi may contain […]

Norway heralds new North Sea production

15 Feb 2017   Norway

The start of new production in the North Sea is a testament to the enduring strength of Norway’s energy sector, the country’s energy minister said. Norwegian Energy Minister Terje Soviknes was on hand for the official launch of the Ivar Aasen field in the country’s territorial waters in the North Sea. Ivar Aasen, operated by Norwegian group Aker BP, has a total cost framework of $3.3 billion and could be in service for the next 20 years. “The development of Ivar Aasen is an important milestone for the oil industry, and represents significant values for the Norwegian society,” the minister said in a statement . Aker BP started formal production at the Ivar Aasen field in December. The field has a peak production capacity of […]

What Oil Crisis? Arctic Drilling Off Norway Set for Record

15 Feb 2017   Norway

Explorers look set to drill a record number of wells in Norway’s Arctic waters this year, undeterred by oil prices apparently stuck below $60 a barrel. After making a discovery of as much as 100 million barrels of oil in the Barents Sea, Lundin Petroleum AB said on Monday that it wants to squeeze two more exploration wells into its program this year, even if it means hiring an additional rig . That could push the total number of wells in the area to 16, two more than the record in 2014, according to forecasts from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the industry regulator, and Rystad Energy AS, an Oslo-based consulting firm. The Norwegian Barents may contain as much as half the country’s unexplored resources, according to the NPD. Yet with crude still trading at half the highs it reached in 2014, the record drilling campaign sounds counter-intuitive. Elsewhere in […]

Norway Expands Slower Than Estimated as Oil Slump Nears End

9 Feb 2017   Norway

Norway’s economic growth picked up slower than anticipated in the fourth quarter as western Europe’s biggest crude producer emerges from a protracted slump in its oil industry. Mainland gross domestic product, which excludes oil, gas and shipping, grew 0.3 percent from the previous quarter, Statistics Norway said Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated a gain of 0.4 percent. Total gross domestic product jumped 1.1 percent, as petroleum investments rose for the first time in 13 quarters. “It’s too soon to conclude that petroleum investments have turned positive as operators on the continental shelf have signaled they will scale down investments by around 10 percent this year,” Marius Gonsholt Hov, an economist at Handelsbanken in Oslo, said in a note. “Still, this marks a slower contraction compared to 2015 and 2016.” Thanks to massive government spending of its oil wealth, record low interest rates and a weak krone, Norway’s […]

More gas from North Sea for Statoil

4 Feb 2017   Norway

Norwegian energy company Statoil said Friday it found more gas in part of a field it discovered two years ago in the North Sea. Statoil said it made the discovery in what it calls Valemon West, part of the larger fragmented Valemon gas field in the North Sea. The discovery was made in an area not previously known to hold hydrocarbons. Gunnar Nakken, a vice president for regional development at Statoil, said the new discovery boosts the overall potential for Valemon. “These new reserves can be put on stream immediately and will add considerable value,” he said in a statement. “The discovery proves that there are still good opportunities in the North Sea — an area we know well — and its […]

Norwegian oil and gas production up for the year

18 Jan 2017   Norway

Production from offshore Norway slumps in December, though full-year output recorded another consecutive year of gains, government data show. File Photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI STAVANGER, Norway, Jan. 17 (UPI) — Total production of oil and gas in Norway dipped in December, though full-year output increased for the third year in a row, the government reported. The government reported total preliminary production of oil, natural gas liquids and an ultra-light form of product called condensate at close to 2.1 million barrels per day on average for December, a 3 percent decline from November’s levels. Norway is among the leading oil and natural gas suppliers to the European economy apart from Russia. Preliminary data for November showed a 2 percent increase from October. Despite the dip of about 60,000 barrels per day in December, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said full-year 2016 production was higher than the previous year, even as lower […]

Kicking The Crude Habit Doesn’t Come Cheap for Richest Scandinavians

14 Jan 2017   Norway

Government plans to diversify the economy come under fire Reducing Norway’s oil dependency and living up to campaign promises is proving a costly affair for Prime Minister Erna Solberg. With just eight months to go before Norwegians head to the ballot box, signs that western Europe’s biggest crude producer is building up viable alternatives to its oil industry remain scarce. Struggling to keep up output after 40 years of production, and hammered by the worst plunge in oil prices in a generation, Solberg’s government saw its plans laid to waste soon after taking power, in 2013. To promote a more diversified economy, her Conservative Party has so far focused on cutting taxes and boosting public spending, thanks in no small part to the country’s vast kitty of… oil money. The government plans to withdraw money for a second consecutive year from the $880 billion wealth fund and spend 226 […]

Norway’s Statoil planning more drilling

5 Jan 2017   Norway

Norwegian energy major Statoil said it would drill 30 percent more exploration wells than it did in 2016 and most of those will be in domestic basins. The oil and gas company, in which the Norwegian government has a stake, said it plans to drill approximately 30 exploration wells this year, compared with 23 last year. More than half of the new wells planned for this year will target basins on the Norwegian continental shelf. Tim Dodson, executive vice president for exploration, said in a statement that company improvements in efficiency and changing market conditions were supportive of an increase in exploration-related developments. “The upcoming well program is balanced between proven, well known basins and new frontier opportunities,” he added. The government last month confirmed a discovery in a wildcat well 4 miles away from the closed Frigg field in the North Sea. […]

More reserves uncovered offshore Norway

23 Dec 2016   Norway

After reporting production gains, the Norwegian government confirmed a discovery Friday of at least 25 million barrels in its waters of the North Sea. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said it confirmed a discovery for Aker BP in a wildcat well 4 miles away from the closed Frigg field in the North Sea. A wildcat well is one drilled into an area not previously known to hold oil or natural gas reserves. Based on preliminary data, the NPD put the estimated size of the discovery at between 25 million and 75 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents. “The licensees are assessing the discovery along with other nearby discoveries with a view towards potential development,” the government regulator said in a statement. The Norwegian subsidiary of BP joined Norwegian energy company Det norske in June to announce plans to create Aker BP, an independent company […]

Statoil: Producers should play role in climate fight

7 Dec 2016   Climate, Norway

Norwegian energy company Statoil said the fight against climate change depends in large part on how oil and gas companies conduct business. “In a low-carbon future, we need oil and gas producers who can deliver energy at low cost, with low emissions,” Statoil CEO Eldar Saetre said during an energy conference in coordinating with the Norwegian government and the International Energy Agency. Statoil this year was tasked by the government in Oslo to study ways to store carbon dioxide on the country’s continental shelf. The IEA said there are already 15 large-scale CCS projects in operation and six more are on schedule to start next year. Statoil already counts several projects in its renewable energy portfolio. The company earlier this year unveiled an energy-storage project dubbed Batwind at its Hywind floating offshore wind farm. Through a memorandum of understanding signed with the Scottish […]

More drilling planned for super giant Norwegian oil field

29 Nov 2016   Norway

Consent is given to energy company Statoil to start drilling an appraisal well in the Johan Sverdrup oil field in the North Sea, the Norwegian government said. The Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway said it gave its approval for the drilling of an appraisal well. Drilling into the Johan Svedrup oil field is scheduled to start in December and should last 30 days. “The field is under development and production is planned to start in 2019,” the safety regulator said. Developed over a series of phases, operator Statoil said the Johan Sverdrup oil field should account for up to 25 percent of total Norwegian petroleum production once at peak capacity. Statoil and its partners at Johan Sverdrup, Maersk Oil and Lundin Petroleum, in […]

More reserves uncovered in Barents Sea

23 Nov 2016   Arctic, Norway

Swedish energy company Lundin Petroleum said Tuesday it made an oil and gas discovery in a frontier area near an existing field in the Barents Sea. The company’s Norwegian subsidiary said it confirmed an oil and gas discovery while drilling a wildcat well, one drilled in a region not previously known to hold hydrocarbons. The well in the Neiden exploration area was drilled about 37 miles northeast of the Alta discovery in the southern waters of the Barents Sea. “The total gross resource estimate for the Neiden discovery is between 25 and 60 million barrels of oil equivalents,” the company said in a statement. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate confirmed the discovery , putting the preliminary estimate […]

Norway Oil Producers Deepen Record Spending Cuts Amid Rout

23 Nov 2016   Norway

Oil and gas companies in Norway cut spending forecasts for 2017, deepening what was already a record reduction in offshore investment. The companies expect to invest 147 billion kroner ($17.2 billion) next year, down 3.6 percent from a previous estimate, according to a quarterly survey published Wednesday by Statistics Norway. They previously reduced their forecast in August . “2017 will be yet another challenging year,” Tommy Hansen, director of communications at the Norwegian Oil & Gas Association, an industry lobby group, said in a statement. Energy companies have put exploration and development projects on hold to weather a decline in crude prices that started in 2014. In Norway, western Europe’s biggest oil producer, spending is set to drop for a third year in 2017 as investors wait for the market to rebalance. Cutbacks there and elsewhere threaten to create a supply shortfall in years to come, […]

Big Oil Slipped ‘Poison Pill’ as Norway Seeks to Limit Exodus

As one oil major after the other considers leaving Norway, the alarm bells are sounding at the country’s Petroleum and Energy Ministry. Officials warned companies this month that they could be on the hook for the billions of dollars it costs to close oil fields even if they sell their entire local subsidiary, a liability previously limited to individual assets. That would guard against sticking taxpayers with the bill if the smaller, more vulnerable producers taking their place are unable to cover the eventual expenses of removing platforms and installations. “They’re afraid that some of the mainstays, like Shell and Exxon, will exit the Norwegian shelf,” Erik Haugane, an industry veteran now heading OKEA AS, a small oil company, said in an interview in Stavanger on Thursday. “It looks like a strange attempt to slip them a poison pill in the process.” As Big Oil shifts strategy to cope […]

Worst Remains for Norway Offshore Fleet as More Rigs Idled

16 Nov 2016   Norway

3 of 4 offshore rigs may be idled by end of 2017: Henriksen Offshore suppliers seen facing at least 2-3 more years of pain The offshore fleet tending to Norway’s oil industry, already sailing through the worst downturn in a generation, is in for even more pain, according to the head of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association. Almost one in four offshore vessels, or about 140 units, and half of the floating rigs, or about 20 units, are now out of work, Chief Executive Officer Sturla Henriksen said. He sees that going “from bad to worse” over the next year, with as many as three in four rigs idled by the end of 2017 and no real recovery in sight. “It’s a highly challenging situation, but it will get worse,” he said in an interview in his Oslo office on Tuesday. “It will still be bad two to three years […]

Prepare for the North Sea Oil Flood

December flow set to increase to 2.16 million barrels a day U.K.’s Forties field, Norway’s Grane crude driving surge Oil producers in the North Sea, home to one of the world’s key crude-price benchmarks, are poised to ship the most crude in more than four years. The surge takes place just as OPEC tries to contain a global surplus with coordinated output cuts. Shipments of North Sea grades will increase 10 percent month-on-month to about 2.16 million barrels a day in December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. If all the cargoes load as planned it would mark the most crude oil shipments from the region since May 2012. The increase just from September, when there was field maintenance, would be almost 360,000 barrels a day. The surge poses yet another challenge to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries as it seeks to curb production to steady markets in […]

Norway’s Statoil says more oil coming by 2019

2 Nov 2016   Norway

Patience is paying off for an oil reserve area discovered 30 years ago that’s now ready to deliver for Norway at a lower cost, energy major Statoil said. The Norwegian energy major, which is part-owned by the government, said it submitted a plan for development to Petroleum Minister Tord Lien for the Trestakk discovery. Confirmed in 1986, the discovery holds about 76 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent, and most of that exists as oil. “Trestakk is a good example of what is possible to achieve through spending time on working toward the best concept selection,” Torger Rod, the head of project development for Statoil, said in a statement. “By rethinking our concept along with license partners and […]

Statoil gives go-ahead to Norway’s Trestakk field after slashing cost

1 Nov 2016   Norway

The company logo of Statoil is seen during a company results presentation in London February 6, 2015. Statoil and partners will invest 5.5 billion Norwegian crowns ($665.51 million) in the development of the Trestakk oil and gas field off Norway, down from a January estimate of 7 billion crowns, the company said on Tuesday. The field had initially been estimated to cost around 10 billion, it added. The firm also said the Norwegian Sea field was now believed to contain 76 million barrels of oil equivalents, an increase from 75 million indicated by Statoil in January and initial forecasts of 59.6 million. Oil firms have embarked on massive cost cuts in recent years to make field developments viable even after a crash in crude prices. Output at Trestakk, co-owned with ExxonMobil and Eni, was expected to start in 2019, Statoil said in the field development plan. (Reporting by Joachim […]

Statoil Posts Surprise Loss on Low Oil Prices, Cuts Spending

27 Oct 2016   Norway

Statoil ASA, the first of the major oil producers to report third-quarter earnings, posted an unexpected loss for a second quarter in a row as maintenance and exploration expenses compounded the impact of lower crude and gas prices. The company also deepened spending cuts. The adjusted loss, which excludes financial and other items, was $261 million, compared with a profit of $445 million a year earlier, Norway’s biggest oil company said Thursday. That missed the $136 million average profit estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. “The financial results were affected by low oil and gas prices, extensive planned maintenance and expensed exploration wells from previous periods,” Chief Executive Officer Eldar Saetre said in a statement. “Strict prioritization and continued good results from our improvement program” allow further cuts to 2016 capital expenditure and exploration guidance, he said. Statoil, 67 percent owned by the government, and rivals such as […]

Greenpeace sues Norway over Arctic oil

19 Oct 2016   Norway

Environmental group Greenpeace said Tuesday it filed a lawsuit against the Norwegian government for giving energy companies consent to drill in Arctic waters. The group’s Norwegian branch and regional advocate Nature and Youth said in their challenge that Norway was violating the Paris climate agreement by moving ahead with oil drilling in the Arctic waters of the Barents Sea. “Signing an international climate agreement while throwing open the door to Arctic oil drilling is a dangerous act of hypocrisy,” Truls Gulowsen with Greenpeace Norway said in a statement . “By allowing oil companies to drill in the Arctic, Norway risks undermining global efforts to address climate change.” Norwegian energy company Statoil in […]

More gas found in North Sea

18 Oct 2016   Norway

A Norwegian regulator said a discovery of mostly natural gas was made in part of the North Sea not previously known to hold natural reserves The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation’s energy regulator, said a regional subsidiary of French supermajor Total discovered gas while drilling a wildcat well, a well drilled into an area not previously known to hold reserves. “The well was drilled in the northeast part of the Martin Linge field,” the NPD said in a statement . Preliminary estimates put the size of the discovery at a maximum 388 million barrels of oil equivalent. During tests, the well produced gas at a rate of 84 million cubic feet per day. The Norwegian government approved the development plan […]

Risks Mount for World’s Biggest Wealth Fund

7 Oct 2016   Norway

Norway to withdraw $15 billion from sovereign wealth fund Cash needed to help fill an 8 percent budget shortfall Even Norway’s politicians are worried they might be taking too much money from their sovereign wealth fund. The government on Thursday revealed plans to withdraw 121 billion kroner ($15 billion) from the $890 billion fund next year as part of an oil-fed spending bonanza that’s filling a budget hole that’s almost 8 percent of gross domestic product. As recently as 2015, Norway was using oil revenue to replenish its wealth fund. Now, it’s taking out more than half its estimated income from bonds, dividends and real estate to make up for lost oil revenue. Though the fund was created to help Norway cope with tougher times, the withdrawals have started much earlier than expected. “What’s worrying is the enormous pace,” said Torstein […]