Keeping track of the resources

One of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's (NPD's) most important tasks is to maintain an overview of all of the petroleum resources on the Norwegian continental shelf. The objective is to ensure that the resources are managed in the best interests of the Norwegian society.

The NPD collects and analyses data from the operating companies on the shelf and compares this with its own data and forecasts. This information is an important management tool for the oil sector, and provides fundamental terms for developing the Government's budgets and oil policies.

Each autumn, the NPD asks all operating companies to submit data and forecasts for their fields, discoveries and transport systems. The companies report both the resources in place and the recoverable resources in the individual fields and discoveries, and indicate high and low estimates for these resources. The recoverable petroleum resources are classified according to the NPD's system, which groups them by maturity or status in relation to decisions made in the production licence. The companies also report forecasts for production, costs, and emissions and discharges to the environment.

This data is checked and quality-assured by the NPD. The NPD also prepares its own estimates for some fields and discoveries, and the NPD classifies these resources based on its own assumptions. The final product of this work is a set of resource accounts, released by the NPD each year. The accounts show produced volumes, remaining proven recoverable volumes and the NPD's estimates of the undiscovered petroleum resources on the Norwegian shelf.

The resource accounts also form the basis for the NPD's input to the revised national budget (RNB).  Prior to the end of each year, the NPD prepares a comprehensive listing of all resources, with associated forecasts for production, costs and emissions/discharges. This data is forwarded to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, and from there on to the Ministry of Finance. The data comprises an important prerequisite for the Government's budget, as well for national oil and environmental policy.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate also publishes a resource report every other year which provides a comprehensive summary of the situation on the Norwegian shelf. In addition to the resource accounts, it provides an overview of exploration and production activities, forecasts for undiscovered resources and scenarios for future development of the Norwegian continental shelf.