Keeping cool


We have had more weather than we need in the oil and gas sector over the past couple of years. And the signs are that we must put up with stormy conditions for a while longer.

The good news is that the resource potential of the NCS remains – even in difficult times. We still have lots of petroleum in the bank. And the companies see that, too, because they are still seeking new opportunities through the licensing rounds.

In cooperation with these companies, we will ensure they take good decisions when discoveries come to be developed – decisions which also allow for improved recovery measures at a later date.

So it is more important than ever that developers opt for flexible solutions which open the way for other resources in the same area to be tied back.

In addition, the surrounding areas must be thoroughly explored, so that reserves there – which are often marginal – can exploit capacity in existing facilities and infrastructure.

Exploration in less mature areas, such as Barents Sea South, is regarded with great anticipation. Our estimates show that the biggest undiscovered resources on the NCS lie in the far north.

A high level of exploration activity will be needed to maintain production. The number of exploration wells in 2016 has been higher than expected, but we fear a downturn in 2017.

The petroleum industry is still crucial for maintaining the prosperity which benefits everyone in Norway. This sector accounts for roughly three-quarters of overall government revenues from industry. It is not easy to see what can replace it.

Many people, myself included, believe we will ride out the storm which has hit our nation so hard – and unfortunately so many workers in the oil sector. That requires us to keep a cool head.

Bente Nyland
director general