NPD: Norway’s recoverable oil resources drop

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has issued its resource accounts for the Norwegian continental shelf as of December 31, 2014. The NPD’s resource accounts estimate the total recoverable petroleum resources to be 14.1 billion standard cubic meters (Sm3) of oil equivalents (o.e.).

This represents a slight decline from 2013. 6.4 billion Sm3, or 45 per cent of the total resources, have been sold and delivered.

The total recoverable petroleum resources have decreased by 21 million Sm3 o.e. (0.15 per cent) since 2013. According to the NPD, the reason for the decline is that 12 of the discoveries in the previous accounts have been reassessed, and are now considered to have a low likelihood of development.


The part of the remaining, proven, recoverable and saleable volumes for which development decisions have been made or which are already in production, is called reserves.

This year’s reserve growth totalled 13 million Sm3 o.e., compared with 102 million Sm3 o.e. in 2013. This growth can primarily be explained by the submission of one Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) in 2014, for the 34/10-53 S Rutil discovery in Gullfaks Sør.

The reserve growth for oil was 40 million Sm3, and the gas reserves were reduced by 17 million Sm3 o.e. There was also a decline in the associated liquid products. The Troll, Grane and Ivar Aasen fields contributed the most to the reserve growth for oil. The cause of the reduction in gas reserves was, among other things, greater uncertainty surrounding the implementation of subsea compression on Ormen Lange, so this project was therefore removed from the reserves.

219 million Sm3 o. e. were sold and delivered in 2014. Including the reserve growth of 13 million Sm3 o.e., reserves declined by 206 million Sm3 o.e.

Contingent resources

Contingent resources include proven petroleum volumes that are contingent on clarification and decisions before they can be approved for production.

Contingent resources in fields amount to 819 million Sm3 o.e. and have increased by 7 million Sm3 o.e. over the last year.

Contingent resources in discoveries amount to 1121 million Sm3 o.e. 92 discoveries are currently being considered for development. 65 per cent of the resources are oil. The resource estimate for Johan Sverdrup (phases 1 and 2) amounts to 48 per cent of the oil resources in discoveries.

In 2014, oil resources in discoveries increased by 54 million Sm3, while gas resources in discoveries increased by 7 million Sm3 o.e. The growth is from the new discoveries in 2014, minus the resources in the 12 discoveries, included in last year’s accounts, which have now been excluded because they will most likely not be developed. The growth from new discoveries is greatest in the Barents Sea, both for oil and gas. Evaluation of the discoveries is in progress, and both the resource estimates and potential developments are uncertain.

Undiscovered resources

The total estimate for undiscovered resources is 2.8 billion Sm3 o.e. The estimate in this year’s accounts was reduced by 105 million Sm3o.e., which corresponds to the volumes proven in new discoveries in 2014. The NPD says it will prepare a new evaluation of undiscovered resources in 2015.

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