Photo: Illustration; Source: NPD

NPD: A lot of oil and gas left on Norwegian shelf

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has revealed that the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) holds another 8 billion standard cubic metres of oil equivalent (Sm3 o.e.).

NPD said on Wednesday that the 8 billion Sm3 o.e. left to be produced on the NCS correspond to around 19 times the volume that will be produced from the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea.

In the Resource Accounts, which is an overview of estimated total proven and unproven petroleum resources on the NCS, NPD claimed that 4.2 billion Sm3 o.e or 52 per cent of remaining resources are proven while unproven resources are estimated at 3.8 billion Sm3 o.e.

The estimate has been reduced by 75 million Sm3 o.e. because equivalent volumes were proven through exploration in 2020.

Total proven and unproven petroleum resources on the NCS are estimated at 15.8 billion Sm3 o.e. This is 28 million more than as of 31 December 2019.

At year-end, the reserves amounted to 2,727 million Sm3 o.e. 53 per cent of this is gas. The gross reserves, or the estimate before production is deducted, has seen an increase of 53 million Sm3 o.e. compared with the previous year.

NPD claimed that production in 2020 amounted to 229 million Sm3 o.e. The change in the accounts is 226 million Sm3 o.e. This is a technical accounting change which entails a net reduction in reserves of 173 million Sm3 o.e., or about 6 per cent.

Petroleum resources and uncertainty in the estimates as of 31 December 2020; Source: NPD
Petroleum resources and uncertainty in the estimates as of 31 December 2020; Source: NPD

At year-end, the contingent resources amounted to 1,428 million Sm3 o.e. This corresponds to 34 per cent of the remaining proven resources. Resources that are assessed as not commercially producible, are not included in the accounts.

Also, a total of 34 wildcat wells were completed in 2020, and 15 discoveries were made. Seven was in the Norwegian Sea, eight in the North Sea. NPD presumes that the total estimate for the discoveries was 76 million Sm3 o.e. Evaluations are not complete for several of the discoveries, and the estimates are therefore uncertain

Resources in discoveries have increased by 3 million Sm3 o.e., to 705 million Sm3 o.e., and account for 17 per cent of the remaining proven resources.

Contingent resources in fields account for 723 million Sm3 o.e. or 17 per cent of the remaining proven resources. Of the contingent resources, 265 million Sm3 o.e. are potential measures in fields.

During 2020, the contingent resources in fields increased by 46 million Sm3 o.e. compared with the 2019 accounts. This increase can be explained by the fact that multiple fields have identified potential measures to improve recovery on the field, for example by drilling more wells or extending facility lifetime and thereby extending the production period.