Norway: Period of decline in petroleum investments is over

15 Dec 2017   Norway

Lower industry prices, an improved global economic outlook and higher oil prices suggest a period of decline in petroleum investments is over, Norway said. Norway holds the largest crude oil and natural gas reserves in Europe and exports nearly all of what it produces offshore. The decline in crude oil prices last year put pressure on the economy, though the government said Thursday the downturn appeared to be over. “The oil price has been rising by degrees from the end of 2016, when it dipped below $30 per barrel, to the current level of over $60 per barrel,” a government report for the fourth quarter read. “Coupled with an improved global outlook and lower investment prices, this augurs well for increased […]

Norway’s dilemma over an oil fund without oil

11 Dec 2017   Norway

An oil fund without oil. The divestment of all petroleum companies would be a momentous change for Norway’s huge $1tn investment fund, itself fuelled by the country’s oil and gas revenues. But the recommendation last month from the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund that it sell its oil and gas stocks is forcing top Norwegian policymakers to grapple with the question of what the fund and the country wants to stand for. Officials say there is a good chance that the proposal could be delayed, even shelved. But they also say that there is a discussion coming that policymakers cannot avoid. “I think the government will try to park this discussion. But they can’t avoid it forever because Norway will still be massively exposed to the oil price. What is Norway about? What is the fund going to be?

This debate is coming one way or the other,” said a senior Norwegian official.  Strikingly, the oil fund’s advice for it to be allowed to sell out of petroleum stocks was grounded not in climate change arguments but financial ones. The fund owns about NKr320bn ($39bn) of oil and gas stocks, compared with the NKr350bn value of Norway’s stake in Statoil and about NKr4,000bn in petroleum still in the ground. The fund’s own research found it could reduce Norway’s sensitivity to oil prices by selling petroleum stocks, without reducing returns. “Our results hence indicate that it might be beneficial for an investor that already has substantial oil price exposure outside their financial portfolio, not to add to this exposure by investing in oil and gas stocks,” the fund said.

Statoil submits formal plans for mega Barents Sea oil field

6 Dec 2017   Norway

By cutting the break-even cost by more than half, Norwegian major Statoil said it’s decided on a development plan for the mega Johan Castberg oil field. Johan Castberg is located in the Norwegian waters of the Barents Sea and holds at least 450 million barrels of oil equivalent. Statoil said Tuesday it submitted a plan for development and operation to the Norwegian government that outlines an annual cost of operation of $138 million. Margareth Øvrum, Statoil’s executive vice president for drilling, said that with capital costs of more than $12 billion and a break-even price of more than $80 per barrel, developing Johan Castberg wasn’t viable until now. “We have been working hard together with our suppliers and partners, changing the concept and finding new […]

Statoil Greenlights $6B Flagship Arctic Oil Project

6 Dec 2017   Norway

Statoil gave the final go-ahead to a flagship Arctic oil project after slashing costs by half. (Bloomberg) — Statoil ASA gave the final go-ahead to a flagship Arctic oil project after slashing costs by half. While expected, the move by Norway’s biggest oil company is a boost to a region seen as key to arresting a decline in the country’s production. In a striking illustration of how oil companies have adapted to lower prices, Statoil cut estimated investments at the Johan Castberg project to about 49 billion kroner ($6 billion) from an initial forecast of more than 100 billion kroner, it said on Tuesday, reiterating a figure given in June. The field in the Barents Sea is due to start production in 2022. Castberg is the world’s biggest offshore oil project to get the go-ahead this year, with resources of 450 million to 650 million barrels, according to Statoil. […]

Statoil takes stronger position in Argentina’s shale

1 Dec 2017   Argentina, Norway

Statoil owned Fagervika oil reservoirs in Trondheim, Norway in 2009. Photo by Sveter/Wikimedia Commons Nov. 30 (UPI) — Norwegian energy company Statoil said it expanded its footprint in Argentina by becoming the operator at an area near one of the world’s largest shale basins. The company said it was awarded a license in the Bajo del Toro Este area in the Neuquén basin, taking a 90 percent stake and serving as the operator. “With the Bajo del Toro Este license award we are building our light oil position in a world-class unconventional resource play, the Vaca Muerta formation,” Statoil’s executive vice president for exploration, Tim Dodson, said in a statement . Vaca Muerta, located in Neuquén province, is considered one of the best shale basins in Latin America. Analysis from consultant group Wood Mackenzie found parts of the basin are producing on average 646 barrels of oil equivalent per […]

Statoil to drill 5-6 wells in Arctic Barents Sea in 2018

28 Nov 2017   Norway

Norway’s Statoil will continue to drill for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea next year even though its 2017 campaign was mostly disappointing, the company’s head of exploration told Reuters on Tuesday. Statoil plans to drill between 25 and 30 wells in Norwegian waters in 2018, of which five or six are expected in the Barents and the rest will be split between the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, which are both located further south. “We have tested a lot of potential there (in 2017), and that potential is gone, but we still believe in the overall potential of the Barents Sea,” exploration chief Tim Dodson told Reuters on the sidelines of a Statoil conference. Even though the company failed to make any large Barents Sea discoveries from the five wells drilled in the current year, it did make a small oil find, known as […]

Norway Oil Bosses Insist End Isn’t Nigh After $35 Billion Shock

20 Nov 2017   Norway

Oil lobby, biggest energy union see domestic industry unharmed Norway’s sovereign wealth fund said it wants out of oil Can Norway dump $35 billion in oil and gas investments, and simultaneously convince that same industry to throw money into the country’s own fossil-fuel future? After the initial shock of learning that Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund wants nothing to do with it, the petroleum industry says both are in fact possible. But the mood is shifting. While the fund said its proposal is about spreading risk and doesn’t imply a negative outlook on the oil industry, the plan reverberated as a nod from western Europe’s biggest oil producer to the uncertain future facing oil. Such doubts are the last thing the country’s offshore industry needs. It’s just suffered through a three-year slump, and is struggling with public opinion as it faces an historic lawsuit to stop its expansion in […]

Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018

18 Nov 2017   Norway

Norway’s oil major Statoil plans to significantly step up its exploration drilling for oil and gas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in 2018, a spokesman told Reuters on Friday. “We are looking at drilling 25 to 30 wells in Norway in 2018. That’s an early ambition we have and it depends on some approvals,” said Statoil’s spokesman. These plans include drilling at licenses operated by Statoil and licenses operated by other companies in which Statoil holds stakes. For 2017, Statoil planned to drill 30 exploration wells worldwide as operator and partner, expecting to complete 16-18 exploration wells on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), the company said at the beginning of this year. That was higher than the 14 wells it completed offshore Norway as operator and partner in 2016. Cost cuts and changed market conditions had allowed Statoil to boost its global exploration drilling plans for this year by […]

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Wants Out of Oil and Gas

18 Nov 2017   Norway

Fund wants to protect Norway’s economy from oil price risk Government says will conclude assessment in ‘fall of 2018’ The $1 trillion fund that Norway has amassed pumping oil and gas over the past two decades wants out of petroleum stocks. Norway, which relies on oil and gas for about a fifth of economic output, would be less vulnerable to declining crude prices without its fund investing in the industry, the central bank said Thursday. The divestment would mark the second major step in scrubbing the world’s biggest wealth fund of climate risk, after it sold most of its coal stocks. “Our perspective here is to spread the risks for the state’s wealth,” Egil Matsen, the deputy central bank governor overseeing the fund, said in an interview in Oslo. “We can do that better by not adding oil-price risk.” The plan would entail the fund, which controls about 1.5 […]

Norway and UK Production Update

Short-term trends for UK oil and gas production and, to a lesser extent, Norway can be rendered a bit meaningless by seasonal impacts from summer maintenance turn-arounds and cyclic gas demand. Overall, though, both are at or approaching the tail end of the production curve, but with slight upticks in the nearer term. Barring several large and unlikely new discoveries over the coming years the industry will continue winding down in both countries, with the UK ahead of Norway, and exploration and development leading operations and finally decommissioning. However some Norwegian gas production still has a multi-decade plateau to come and there are a couple of large oil projects due on-line in each country which will run for twenty to thirty years. Norway Drilling and Discoveries The usual patterns of exploration wells and discoveries following a bell curve that is matched by a […]

Statoil will not give up on exploration in Arctic

30 Oct 2017   Arctic, Norway

The chief executive of Norway’s biggest oil company refused to give up on oil exploration in the country’s Arctic despite another disappointing drilling campaign this year.  Eldar Saetre, Statoil’s chief executive, said that the government-controlled company was “very patient” when it came to exploring new areas and that it would return to the Norwegian Barents Sea next year with “optimism but realism”.  Statoil found no oil at its big exploration prospect in the Arctic this year, the Korpsfjell field in an area newly opened up for drilling in the south-east of the Norwegian Barents Sea.  But Mr Saetre said: “It’s a game of patience and longevity. We will drill these wells [next year] and they’re justified. We haven’t found the big stuff. But next year will also be exciting.”  Statoil only returned to exploration in the Barents Sea this year after a three-year hiatus following a previous disappointing campaign.  Oil companies are still struggling to understand the geology of the area of the Arctic just off the north coast of Norway. They argue that the conditions are the most benign of anywhere in the Arctic region with no sea ice and relatively shallow and calm waters.

Norway Unfazed By Peak Oil Concerns

24 Oct 2017   Norway, Peak Oil

When crude oil demand will peak is anyone’s guess. Forecasts vary widely. Wood Mackenzie says that peak demand is “very real,” and sees a decline of 4 million bpd between 2020 and 2035. Other majors including BP and Total SA see peak demand as coming between 2025 and 2040, as a result of clean energy government initiatives, slower economic growth, and wider use of electric vehicles. Not everyone is that concerned with peak oil demand, however. Recently, Norway’s Energy Minister said the biggest problem for Europe’s largest oil and gas producer is satisfying near-term demand, which is growing faster than Norwegian continental shelf operators are making discoveries. It might sound a bit weird that Europe’s greenest country is still so big on oil and gas, but in reality, there’s nothing weird: Oil and gas exports account for a substantial portion of Norway’s export revenues, with their value for 2016 […]

Maintenance period drags Norwegian oil production lower

20 Oct 2017   Norway

Preliminary production figures for Norway were lower than expected, but still higher than last year, based on preliminary data. Photo courtesy of Aker BP Oct. 19 (UPI) — Oil production from Norway last month was far lower than expected, but still above figures from last year, a government agency said Thursday. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported lower sales and lower production, based on preliminary data for September . Preliminary data show oil production was 1.44 million barrels of oil per day, which was about 11 percent lower than expected. “The oil production was below the forecast in September due to maintenance work on some fields,” the NPD’s monthly report read. Preliminary data for September shows a gain over last year of 3.6 percent. Final figures from August show an average daily rate for oil production at 1.56 million bpd. Total discovered and potential resources are up more than 40 […]

Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs

13 Oct 2017   Electric Cars, Norway

The government of the global leader in EVs adoption, Norway, proposed on Thursday to trim some of the tax breaks for the heaviest electric vehicles (EVs) in a move that—if implemented—would affect owners of cars such as Tesla Model X, for example. In its 2018 budget proposal unveiled today, Norway’s right-wing minority government has included a proposal to change an exemption from the motor vehicle registration tax. The proposal “implies that only heavy electric cars, with a weight in excess of two tonnes, will be subject to motor vehicle registration tax,” the budget draft says. “Electric cars will still be accorded significant advantages in comparison with cars running on fossil fuels. In addition, the Government proposes that electric cars be exempted from re-registration tax and traffic insurance tax,” says the 2018 budget proposal. Norwegian media dubbed the tax on EVs weighing more than 2 tons the “ Tesla tax […]

LNG fuel strides continue for French company

11 Oct 2017   France, Norway

Norwegian energy major Statoil will start using liquefied natural gas as a maritime fuel at the port of Rotterdam by the next decade, a French gas company said. French energy company ENGIE and its Japanese consortium partners said they were selected by Statoil to supply LNG as fuel for four crude shuttle tankers at the Norwegian port of Rotterdam. “The four planned dual fuel vessels are to come into service in early 2020,” the French company said. “They will be operated by Statoil in northern European seas.” Deliveries will be supported by bunkering vessel ENGIE Zeebrugge, which is currently in service in Belgian waters. The French company in June said the ENGIE Zeebrugge was its first to provide ship-to-ship supplies for LNG as a […]

New drilling begins in Barents Sea

10 Oct 2017   Norway

New drilling has started in a prospect in the Norwegian waters of the Barents Sea near one of the region’s larger discoveries, Lundin Petroleum said. Lundin’s subsidiary in Norway said Monday it started drilling an exploration in the Hufsa prospect in the southern waters of the Barents Sea. The well is located just south of the Filicudi and Johan Castberg proven discoveries in Norwegian waters. “The Hufsa prospect is estimated to contain gross unrisked prospective resources of 285 million barrels of oil equivalent,” the company said in a statement . Johan Castberg was one of the more significant finds in the region in recent years. The field has estimated proven reserves of between 400 million and 600 million barrels of oil, […]

Mixed results from new North Sea drilling

4 Oct 2017   Norway

The Norwegian government said Tuesday it confirmed a discovery of oil and gas in the North Sea but said efforts to find new reserves in untested waters failed. The Norwegian government published data Tuesday from an appraisal well drilled by Aker BP, a merger of Norwegian energy companies and a subsidiary of BP, about 7 miles away from the producing Froy filed in the North Sea. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said the company ran through a column of oil measuring 44 feet and confirmed it as a discovery. Before drilling, the company estimated the well held about 63 million barrels of recoverable oil and 70 million cubic feet of natural gas. “Analyses are ongoing […]

Statoil, Shell and Total to store CO2 offshore Norway

3 Oct 2017   North Sea, Norway

Norwegian energy company Statoil said Monday it was leading a partnership aimed at advancing Paris climate efforts through carbon capture and storage. Statoil said it would lead a project alongside the Norwegian subsidiaries of Royal Dutch Shell and French supermajor Total in storing carbon dioxide captured from industrial facilities in eastern Norway at an offshore site. “Statoil believes that without carbon capture and storage, it is not realistic to meet the global climate target as defined in the Paris agreement,” Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil’s executive vice president for new energy solutions, said in a statement . The International Energy Agency described carbon capture and storage as a necessary addition to other low-carbon energy technologies meant […]

Barents Sea Oil Drilling Campaign Continues To Disappoint

2 Oct 2017   Norway

Lundin Norway AS, operator of a production license in the Barents Sea, has found no oil or gas in a wildcat well it has drilled, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Friday, in the latest of a string of disappointing well drilling in the Barents Sea. Lundin Norway’s well was drilled 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) northeast of the Johan Castberg field, and although it encountered traces of oil, the well is classified as dry, the NDP said. Earlier this week, the Norwegian directorate said that Eni Norge AS, the Norwegian unit of Italy’s major Eni, had completed the drilling of a wildcat well 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) southwest of the Goliat field, but it proved dry as well. This week’s dry wells come after Statoil had an underwhelming drilling campaign in the Barents Sea this summer. At the end of August, Statoil found no oil at its Korpfjell […]

Final design of first autonomous and fully electric container vessel revealed; model testing at SINTEF Ocean

2 Oct 2017   Norway

A six-meter, 2.4-ton model of the final design of the autonomous and fully electric container vessel Yara Birkeland ( earlier post ) was revealed as testing commenced at SINTEF Ocean’s 80-meter test tank facility in Trondheim. ENOVA, a Norwegian government enterprise responsible for promotion of environmentally friendly production and consumption of energy, will support the project with a NOK 133-million (US$16.7-million) financial contribution. As announced in May, Yara and Kongsberg have partnered to build the world’s first autonomous and fully electric container vessel. Yara Birkeland , named after Yara’s founder Kristian Birkeland, will enable a reduction of 40,000 road journey’s from Yara’s Porsgrunn fertilizer plant in southern Norway to the ports of Brevik and Larvik, significantly reducing local NO x and CO 2 emissions produced by haulage trucks. The vessel will be delivered and begin first tests and operations early 2019, and conduct fully autonomous operations in 2020. The […]

Norway’s Statoil says it reached emissions goals early

23 Sep 2017   Climate, Norway

After reaching its climate targets ahead of schedule, Norwegian energy company Statoil said it was raising the bar for cutting its emissions. The Norwegian energy company, one of the more robust producers in the world, said it reached its target of cutting 1.2 million tons worth of emissions of carbon dioxide from its portfolio three years ahead of schedule. “We aim to reduce CO2 emissions from the NCS by another 2 million ton by 2030,” Arne Sigve Nylund, an executive vice president for development and production, said in a statement . “This work starts now.” In 2015, the company joined nine of the world’s largest oil and gas companies in pledging to play a constructive role in reducing the intensity of global […]

Norway’s Pro-Oil Government Wins Re-Election

13 Sep 2017   Norway

The Conservative ruling party of Norway yesterday won re-election for the first time since 1985, in a vote where oil policies took center stage, as befits Europe’s largest oil and gas producer. It was a narrow win, however, for Erna Solberg’s tax-cutting, oil industry-stimulating platform. To win, the Conservative Party joined forces with the populist Progressive Party as well as two smaller parties from the center-right. These will have a say in future policies, including on oil, and the industry may suffer some blows. The center-right coalition partners, although small, could have a big say in future policy proposals as the Conservatives will need their support to gain the necessary majority to pass legislation in parliament. The most important player in the game may well turn out to be the Green Party. As Oilprice reported before the elections, a new coalition may propel the small Green Party—which currently holds […]

Cost to develop giant Johan Sverdrup field in Norway moves lower

6 Sep 2017   Norway

Norwegian energy company Statoil said the coast to develop the first half of its mega Johan Sverdrup oil field went down by about 5 percent. Johan Sverdrup is one of Norway’s five largest offshore oil fields, and contains an estimated 3 billion barrels of oil. Phase 1 of the field’s development is currently underway, with the first deliveries expected to begin in late 2019. Statoil said improvements in delivery and execution for the first phase of development led to a 5.1 percent reduction in investment costs to around $11 billion. “We are seeing high quality in project planning and execution across the entire project, and the project continues to benefit from good drilling and well efficiency, which together has enabled us to further reduce […]

Future Of Oil Takes Center Stage In Norwegian Election

1 Sep 2017   Norway

The future of Norway’s oil sector is emerging as a key issue for voters in a Sept. 11 parliamentary election. STAVANGER, Norway, Aug 31 (Reuters) – The future of Norway’s oil sector is emerging as a key issue for voters in a Sept. 11 parliamentary election, nowhere more so than in the oil capital of Stavanger. The right-wing bloc of Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg is neck-and-neck in opinion polls with an opposition grouping led by Jonas Gahr Stoere’s Labour. Should neither secure a majority, the smaller Green party – which pledges to stop oil exploration and phase out production within 15 years – could become kingmakers. There is little chance of the Greens being able to call time on Norway’s number one industry, which all major parties back to the hilt, accounts for half of national exports and employs over 180,000 people. But they have been gradually gathering […]

Norway Oil and Gas: Reserves, Production and Future Projection

31 Aug 2017   Norway

Norwegian oil production peaked in 2000 to 2001; gas production may be peaking about now. Oil hit a low in 2013 and then recovered towards a new local peak, probably concurrent with the gas. Drilling and Development The most surprising thing I find with their industry is that the drop in oil price made almost no difference the drilling activity shown here (all data here and below taken from the NPD – Norwegian Petroleum Directorate – which provides more data than just about any other such organisation). There was a high level of drilling activity in 2013 and 2014 which then actually increased in 2015 and was still high in 2016, although exploration well numbers look to be decreasing now. This may be just a consequence of the momentum built up in the high price years, or because of the influence of Norwegian […]

Statoil failed to find oil at its northernmost Arctic well

29 Aug 2017   Norway

Oil major Statoil’s highly anticipated Korpfjell prospect in the Arctic Barents Sea contained only non-commercial quantities of natural gas, and no oil, the company announced on Tuesday. Korpfjell was the first exploration well drilled in the Norwegian section of a formerly disputed area between Norway and Russia, where Statoil and its partners had hoped to make a major discovery. “The main purpose of the well was to prove whether there was any oil in the large geological structure on Korpfjell. The drilling has only proven small gas volumes,” Statoil said. The gas discovered was estimated at 40-75 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents, and was not large enough for commercial development, the company added. It said it would continue exploring the area as unfamiliar geological structures […]

Norway’s Statoil takes first steps into Argentina’s lauded shale

26 Aug 2017   Argentina, Norway

Norway’s Statoil marks a debut of sorts with a partnership in a shale basin in Argentina, one of the largest in the world. Map courtesy of Statol Aug. 25 (UPI) — Norwegian energy company Statoil said Friday it signed an agreement with Argentine company YPF to explore parts of the “world-class” Vaca Muerta shale basin. Statoil under the terms of the agreement took a 50 percent stake in the Bajo del Toro exploration permit in the Neuquén Basin alongside YPF. The Norwegian company said it would fund all of the costs associated with activities in the region. This is the first formal step for Statoil into one of the largest unconventional oil and natural gas basins in the world. “This is a light oil exploration project in a world-class unconventional resource play, the Vaca Muerta formation,” Tom Dodson, Statoil’s vice president for exploration and production, said in a statement […]

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 […]