Resource accounts for the Norwegian continental shelf as of 31 December 2013

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's resource accounts show that the total recoverable petroleum resources are estimated at 14.2 billion standard cubic metres (Sm 3 ) of oil equivalents (o.e.).

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's resource accounts show that the total recoverable petroleum resources are estimated at 14.2 billion standard cubic metres (Sm3) of oil equivalents (o.e.)

New acreage in the southeastern Barents Sea and the shelf around Jan Mayen is included in the resource accounts, which are updated as of 31 December 2013.

The main trends in the resource accounts for 2013 are:

  • Moderate growth in reserves
  • Maturation of resources in fields and discoveries
  • Resource growth from 20 new discoveries in 2013
  • Updating of undiscovered resources

Total recoverable petroleum resources have increased by 586 million Sm3 o.e. since 2012. This is mainly due to an increase in the volume of undiscovered resources, which now include the southeastern Barents Sea and the shelf around Jan Mayen. Together, they account for 60 per cent of the increase. There have also been increased reserves on fields, upward revision of resource estimates in discoveries, and the addition of new discoveries.

Reserve growth this year was 102 million Sm3 o.e., compared with 344 million Sm3 o.e. last year. The reason for the low growth rate is that development decisions have been made only for four minor discoveries. Reserve growth from producing fields is the main contributor to the increase in reserves. The greatest increase is in gas reserves, where the Snøhvit field is the largest contributor. The Snorre, Grane and Troll fields have shown the greatest increase in oil reserves. In 2013, 215 million Sm3 o. e. were sold and delivered, thus reducing net reserves by 113 million Sm3 o.e. 

In 2005, the NPD set an oil reserve growth target of 800 million Sm3 by 2015. Oil reserves increased last year by 29 million Sm3. In comparison, 85 million Sm3 of oil were sold in 2013.. Two million Sm3 of the 2013 growth comes from discoveries the licensees have decided to develop, and 27 million Sm3 comes from fields. Nine years after the NPD set this target, the accumulated reserve growth totals 636 million Sm3. This is 80 per cent of the authorities' objective, and shows that it may be difficult to achieve a resource growth of 800 million Sm3 of oil by 2015.

The Jette, Hyme, Skarv and Skuld fields came on stream in 2013, while the Glitne and Yttergryta fields were shut down. Fourteen fields were being developed at year-end. The licensees have submitted a Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) for 1/5-2 Flyndre, and PDO exemptions have been approved for the 15/3-9 Gudrun Øst, 34/8-13 A Titan phase 1 and 34/8-15 S Rhea discoveries. According to current plans, the Brynhild, Bøyla, Fram H-Nord, Goliat, Gudrun, Knarr, Svalin and Valemon fields will come on stream in 2014.

Resources in planned projects for improved oil and gas recovery are called contingent resources in fields, and account for 812 million Sm3 o.e. in this year's resource accounts. Potential future improved recovery measures (Resource Category 7A in the NPD's resource classification system) are included in this number. This is an increase of 58 million Sm3 o.e. compared with the previous reporting. One of the reasons for the increase is that Resource Category 7A has grown by 65 million Sm3 o.e. Contingent resources in fields, excluding Resource Category 7A, were reduced by 7 million Sm3 o.e as a consequence of the sanctioning of several projects in the fields. This means that the resources in these projects have matured to reserves, and the resource volume is therefore moved from contingent resources in fields, to reserves.

The volume of contingent resources in discoveries has increased by 76 million Sm3 o.e. compared with last year's accounts. Oil resources in discoveries have increased by 90 million Sm3, while gas resources were reduced by 14 billion Sm3. One reason for the increase in oil resources is that the resource estimate for 16/2-6 Johan Sverdrup has increased by 54 million Sm3 compared with last year’s reporting. Resource growth from discoveries made in 2013 is in addition to this. As regards the new discoveries, both oil and gas growth is most significant in the Barents Sea. The reduction in contingent gas resources is due, in part, to the fact that the 7225/3-1 Norvarg discovery will probably not be produced, following disappointing appraisal well results.

The expected scope of the estimated volume of undiscovered resources is 2940 million Sm3 o.e., an increase of 350 million Sm3 o.e. since last year's accounts. This estimate includes volumes from new acreage in the southeastern Barents Sea and the shelf around Jan Mayen, amounting to 300 million Sm3 o.e and 90 million Sm3 o.e., respectively. There has also been an update of undiscovered resources in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea, resulting in a reduction of 40 million Sm3 o.e. As regards the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, the result of a reduction in oil resources and an increase in gas resources is based on new analyses of the plays. Both oil and gas resources have been adjusted upwards for the Barents Sea. The range of uncertainty (P10 – P90) for the undiscovered resources is considerable, at between 1.5 and 4.8 billion Sm3 o.e.

Figure 1 shows the distribution of the total resources. The resource estimates are uncertain, as illustrated in the figure. The total remaining recoverable resources are estimated at 8 billion Sm3 o.e., with a range of uncertainty (P10 – P90) of between 5.6 and 11 billion Sm3 o.e.


Figure 1 - Download pdf 

Figure 1: Distribution of total recoverable resources and uncertainty in estimates as of 31 December 2013.

Details of the resource accounts are shown in the attached tables, which can be downloaded.

Contact in the NPD:
Marit Arnesen, tel. +47 51 87 64 33