Recent Study: Norway Oil & Gas Report Q2 2013

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Thu May 09 2013

Oil production in Norway may be in decline, but the country retains considerable upside gas potential and should continue to be a major force in European energy supply for decades to come. Discoveries of considerable size are clearly still possible in mature areas, as demonstrated by the giant Johan Sverdrup and surrounding oil finds that continue to be made. This, and fresh prospective acreage offered in the Barents Sea, should stimulate new investment from domestic and foreign operators, slow a decline in oil output and spur on gas production within our 10-year forecast period.

The main trends and developments we highlight in Norway's oil and gas sector are:

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* Oil and gas investment in 2012 hit a record NOK172.5bn (US$29.4bn) and is estimated to have hit a record NOK185bn (US$32.9bn), but the agency expects levels in 2013 to surpass this by 150% to reach NOK198.7208bn (US$33.937.0bn).
* The giant Johan Sverdrup field's total resource estimates continue to rise. Data from another high-impact find by Statoil - Geitungen - show that it could be linked to the Johan Sverdrup complex. If so, it could add another 140-270mn barrels of oil equivalent (boe) to original estimates of 2.1-2.8bn boe of recoverable resources from the field. Statoil will select a development concept by the end of 2013 and expects first oil at the end of 2018, though we forecast that production will only start to peak after 2020. Other notable discoveries made in 2012 include Statoil's King Lear play and Total's Garantiana find in October 2012.
* In the short-to-medium term, oil production will continue to trend downwards. In 2012 we estimate that production fell to 1.85mn barrels per day (b/d) due in part to unplanned outages caused by an offshore workers' strike and a natural decline in output from ageing fields. However, we expect the rate of decline to slow, with a commitment to improved oil recovery (IOR) techniques at Statoil's major fields likely to be realised. Total liquids output could fall more gradually to 1.55mn b/d in 2017, although we expect a reversal in this downward trend to have occurred by 2020 as Johan Sverdrup - where peak output could equal other giant fields such as Oseberg and Gulfaks at about 500,000b/d - comes online in 2018. Oil production could bounce back to 1.54mn b/d by 2022.
* We see oil demand rising slightly over the next few years from an estimate of 260,700b/d in 2012 to 282,100b/d in 2017. Net export capacity is set to decline at a steady rate from an estimate of 1.59mn b/d in 2012 to 1.27mn b/d in 2017 and just 1.24mn b/d by 2022.
* Gas production rose in 2012 and we expect this uptrend to continue. Two other big discoveries in the Barents Sea, Skrugard and Havis, could flow first gas by late 2018. We forecast gas production to rise to 128.8bcm in 2017. By 2022, with the addition of Aasta Hansteen and possibly Skrugard and Havis, gas output could rise to 142.9bcm.

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