Near-field exploration prevailsImage: Lundin Energy

Near-field exploration prevails

While more petroleum is continuously being found on the NCS, all of it is currently related to wildcats drilled close to infrastructure.

The last attempt to find oil and gas in a frontier area of the NCS conspicuously failed. The Aker BP well Stangnestind (Barents Sea southeast) only discovered non-commercial volumes of gas (expronews: No luck again for the Barents Sea).

At the same time that we got this devastating news, NPD reported that eight discoveries have been made during the first half of 2021. The resulting resource growth is roughly 400 MMboe ( High activity on the Norwegian shelf).

If this trend continues, it will take some three years to find as much oil equivalents as can be recovered from the Johan Sverdrup field (2700 MMbo)

This is the obvious backdrop for this year’s conference NCS Exploration Strategy November 17-18, in Stavanger. 

As pointed out by Torgeir Stordal, director of Technology and coexistence at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, “the addition of oil and gas resources from new discoveries, like we have seen so far this year, is necessary to prevent a sharp decline in petroleum industry activity after 2030. Without new discoveries, production could fall by more than 70 per cent in 2040 compared with 2020”.

NCS Exploration Strategy

“To provide a broader insight into short- and long-term exploration on the NCS and how companies build their portfolios in order to maximize reserves and position their companies to respond to the fluctuating oil price and outside pressure.”

The finding rate is of course of interest to the oil industry, but even more so to the Norwegian public. As pointed out by Norsk olje og gass, the industry provides work to more than 200,000 people offshore and onshore, about 10 per cent of the total Norwegian workforce.

Finding more oil and gas will continue to provide employment to many and is also important to ensure welfare for future generations.

The question that politicians therefore now should ask (rather then speaking the industry down in their attempt to embrace the green shift) is what strategy Norway should chose to get the oil companies to maximize their own resource growth, by – for example – explore the frontier areas of the NCS.

Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry will – November 17-18 in Stavanger – share between themselves (and the oil industry at large) current plans and initiatives for the purpose of maximizing resources through exploration, mergers and acquisitions.

NCS Exploration Strategy– November 17-18, Stavanger 

Companies on the speaker list – as of now – include:

  • Claire Richardson, Shell
  • Chris Dart, PGNiG
  • Denis Palermo, Vår Energi
  • Eirik Wærness, Equinor
  • Francois Courteix, TotalEnergies
  • Roy Davies, Wintershall dea
  • Elisabeth Femsteinevik, DNO Norge
  • Jarand Rystad, Rystad Energy

NCS Exploration Strategy

For whom? Authorities, oil companies, service companies and consulting companies. Financial advisors, explorationists, business developers and energy experts.