Since 1990, total resources, including the estimate for undiscovered resources, have increased by more than 40%. In fact, more resources than we expected overall in 1990 have been proven, and there is still a lot left to find. In order to extract all the values, the industry must cooperate on utilizing the infrastructure that exists and use the available technology.

“We have been producing oil and gas in Norway for nearly 50 years and we are still not halfway done. Vast volumes of oil and gas have been discovered on the Norwegian shelf that are still waiting to be produced. We want companies with the ability and willingness to utilise new knowledge and advanced technology. This will yield profitable production for many decades in the future,” says Ingrid Sølvberg, director of development and operations in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

At the turn of the year, there were 77 discoveries on the Norwegian shelf that are being considered for development. Most are located in the North Sea, and the largest are in the Barents Sea. The resources in these discoveries amount to 700 million Sm3 o.e. 

In addition, nearly 850 million Sm3 o.e. can be produced through improved recovery measures, as much as the total production from Statfjord field since its start-up in 1979. This presumes that the companies will make investment decisions for projects that have already been identified.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has also identified a technical potential for substantial volumes of oil and gas. Through using advanced methods for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), volumes in the scope of 320-860 million Sm3 of oil could be recovered.

Furthermore, there are vast volumes of oil and gas in tight reservoirs that could be recovered using new technology.

“The authorities expect that all resources that contribute to values for society will be produced, not just the ‘easy barrels’. This requires us to maintain strong expert communities and develop and apply new technology,” Sølvberg says.

“The Norwegian shelf has been a laboratory for testing new technology. We now need to become leaders with regard to using the technologies that have been developed. We have a strong offshore technology environment in Norway. Let’s make sure this is also maintained in the future.”

Sølvberg emphasizes that “the Norwegian petroleum industry needs ambitious engineers and visionary leaders that can maintain the Norwegian shelf’s strong position within development and use of new and advanced offshore technology through good cooperation between oil companies, suppliers and the authorities.”

The 2017 Resource report for fields and discoveries will be published exclusively digitally for the first time.