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Challenges for Norwegian policy. With little exploration activity and few fresh oil and gas finds over the past few years, Norwegian oil policy faces increasing pressure to change. In this respect, bad news may lead to good news.
The bad news is that the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s (NPD’s) 2003 Resource Report (released in late June) lowers, for the first time, its estimate of ultimately recoverable petroleum resources. This estimate is down 7% from 2002’s figure. It includes all oil and gas produced so far, but excludes the Barents Sea zone disputed by Norway and Russia. Nevertheless, the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) is a huge, complex area and, to a large extent, still unexplored. It is divided into three petroleum provinces – North Sea, Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea.
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