When the Storting (parliament) debated the integrated management plan for the Barents Sea and the sea areas off Lofoten (Report no 8 to the Storting (2005-2006)) in 2006, it was resolved that petroleum operations would not be initiated in the Nordland VI and VII, Troms II and Egga Edge areas during the life of the 2005-09 Storting.

The integrated plan required the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) to strengthen knowledge about possible petroleum resources in Nordland VII and Troms II. These areas have not been opened to petroleum operations earlier, but some seismic data have been gathered there since 1969. The Storting decision to survey possible petroleum resources was followed up with appropriations totalling NOK 410 million over three years. New information acquired by the NPD will form part of the knowledge base when the politicians consider the revised management plan in 2010-11.

Two- and three-dimensional seismic surveys were shot by the NPD during the summers of 2007, 2008 and 2009. Survey dates were determined in consultation with the Directorate of Fisheries, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and the fishing organisations. Arranging the work to minimise its impact on the fisheries has been important for the NPD.

The NPD has also collected other data about the sub-surface. It has mapped the areas based on both new and existing information, and calculated their resource potential. It is important to emphasise that very few wells have been drilled in these areas. Exploration drilling will be needed to prove possible petroleum resources. Based on today’s knowledge, some of the main conclusions are:

  • Nordland VI is the most prospective area for petroleum resources
  • The resource estimate for Nordland VII and Troms II combined is on a par with expectations for Nordland VI
  • Estimates are larger for oil than for gas in Nordland VI and VII. Troms II is most likely to yield gas.

Based on earlier data, the NPD has also mapped the unopened part of Nordland V, Nordland VI, the West Fjord and the Egga Edge. A more extensive report on petroleum resources in all these areas will be published at

The NPD has performed an economic valuation of the petroleum resources. These calculations are based on a number of technical and economic assumptions, including the time when these areas are opened to petroleum operations, exploration activity and development solutions. Such assumptions are necessary when making economic assessments.

The main features of the geology, the NPD’s resource estimates and the valuations of various resource outcomes which reflect the uncertainty in the estimates are described in this report. The seismic data gathered provide important and necessary information. To determine whether oil and/or gas are present in these areas, however, it will be necessary to drill wells.

Bente Nyland, director-general, NPD


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