The petroleum resource account as of Dec. 31, 2008

The updated resource account shows that 5.1 billion scm oil equivalents has been produced and the total remaining proven recoverable resources amount to 5.0 billion scm oil equivalents. 73 discoveries are yet to be approved for development.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's (NPD's) resource account, which is now presented with updated figures as of December 31, 2008, is an overview of the estimated quantities of recoverable petroleum resources on the Norwegian continental shelf. Recoverable petroleum resources consist of both the original marketable and the remaining petroleum resources.

The resource estimates are based on reports submitted annually by the operating companies, NPD evaluations for fields and discoveries and NPD estimates of undiscovered resources. This account shows the estimated geographical distribution for the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.

The resources on the Norwegian continental shelf are classified according to maturity as shown in the NPD's resource classification, reflecting the maturity, or project status, with regard to decisions to develop and produce the discovered petroleum quantities.

The total recoverable petroleum resources on the Norwegian shelf as of December 31, 2008 are estimated at approximately 13 billion standard cubic meters of oil equivalents (scm o.e.). This figure is more or less the same compared to last year’s account. This year’s account shows that 25 discoveries have been made in 2008. The volumes in the new discoveries are small and the volume varies between 1 million scm o.e and 26 million scm o.e. There has also been an increase in gross oil reserves with 29 million scm.

The estimates of the undiscovered resources have not changed according to last year’s account. The estimate is 1.260 billion scm oil, 0.265 billion scm condensate and 1875 billion scm gas, a total of 3.400 billion scm o.e. which represents 41 per cent of the remaining resources.

The remaining total recoverable resources are estimated at 8.4 billion scm o.e with an uncertainty range from 5.3 to 12.0 billion scm o.e.

A total of 243 million scm o.e. were sold and delivered in 2008. This is 5 million scm o.e more than in 2007. The split is 122 million scm oil, 101 billion scm gas, 15 million scm NGL, and 4 million scm condensate.

25 new discoveries were made in 2008; 12 in the North Sea, 4 in the Barents Sea and 9 in the Norwegian Sea. The expected volume of the new discoveries is estimated at 50 million scm oil and 72 billion scm gas. The uncertainty range is between 33 to 81 million scm oil and 49 to 97 billion scm gas. Compared to 2007, this constitutes a considerable increase in resource growth. The evaluation of the size of the discoveries is however ongoing and the figures are therefore uncertain.

As of December 31, 2008 eleven fields were being developed; Alve, Gjøa, Morvin, Rev, Skarv, Tyrihans, Vega, Vega Sør, Volund, Yme and Yttergryta. Rev and Yttergryta started production in January 2009. According to plans the fields Alve, Tyrihans, Yme and Volund will start production later in 2009.

Gross oil and gas reserves increased with 39 million scm o.e in 2008. This is due to an increase in reserves on several fields such as Tyrihans, Ula and Alvheim. In addition, PDO approval for Morvin and Yttergryta and development decision for 3/7-4 Trym resulted in resources entered as reserves. With a production of 243 million scm o.e , the resource account show a net reduction in remaining reserves of 204 million scm o.e. This reduction is nearly 6 per cent.

The authorities’ goal is to mature 800 million scm of oil as reserves within ten years prior to 2015. 29 million scm of oil were entered as reserves in 2008. Accumulated gross oil reserve growth since 2005 is now 232 million scm oil. This is 29 per cent of the authorities’ goal of adding 5 billion barrels of oil to the reserve base before 2015.

Contingent resources in fields have increased with 34 million scm o.e. The reason for this increase is a general maturing of projects in existing fields and that new projects to improve long term recovery have been initiated.

Contingent resources in discoveries (not yet approved for development) have increased with 129 million scm o.e compared with last year’s estimate. This is due to a relatively good resource growth from exploration in 2008. In addition six discoveries are evaluated by a new operator. Last year, recovery of these discoveries was regarded not very likely. In total 73 discoveries are not yet approved for development (resource categories 4F, 5F and 7F). 34 per cent of the discoveries are in the planning phase.

Original in-places resources for fields are included in the downloadable file. These figures represent how much oil and gas was originally in-place before production start and include produced volumes, planned production, and volumes that will not be produced with the current plans. There are alternative methods of calculating the in-place volumes. The figures are therefore not necessarily comparable between fields.

Contact within the NPD:
Marit Arnesen, tlf. +47 51 87 64 33