The petroleum resource account as of Dec. 31, 2002

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's (NPD's) resource account is an overview of the 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.

The resources on the Norwegian continental shelf are classified according to maturity as shown in the NPD's resource classification system. The total recoverable petroleum resources on the Norwegian Shelf as of December 31, 2002 are estimated to 13.7 billion Sm3 oil equivalents (Sm3 o.e.). This is a reduction of 90 million Sm3 o.e. compared to the previous report.

The estimate of undiscovered resources is unchanged compared to the previous estimate - 1420 million Sm3 oil and 2510 billion Sm3 gas, in total 3930 million Sm3 o.e. or 28% of the total resource account. Resources from possible future measures to increase the recovery factors of oil and gas are estimated to 400 million Sm3 and 500 billion Sm3 respectively. These estimates are being evaluated and the results of this evaluation will be represented in the next Resource Report.

The remaining total recoverable resources are 10.2 billion Sm3 o.e. with an uncertainty range going from 8.0 to 14.2 billion Sm3 o.e. In 2002 174 million Sm3 oil, 65 billion Sm3 gas, 10.5 million tons NGL and 9 million Sm3 condensate were sold. 9 new discoveries were made (in 8 well tracks). The evaluation of 2 of these new discoveries was not finalized at year end. The expected value of the new discoveries is 10 - 13 million Sm3 oil and a little less than 10 billion Sm3 gas. The evaluation of the size of the discoveries is ongoing. The volume discovered in 2002 is only 10 percent of the produced volume during the same year.

As of December 31, 2002, there were 65 fields on the Norwegian shelf including 12 fields where production is ceased. 45 fields were on production (40 in the North Sea and 5 in the Norwegian Sea). Tune, Vale and Sigyn, all located in the North Sea, started production during 2002. The plan for production and development (PDO) for Snøhvit, Byggve and Skirne were approved during the year.

Remaining reserves in fields are 3776 million Sm3 o.e. distributed with 1306 million Sm3 oil, 2118 billion Sm3 gas, 118 million tons NGL and 130 million Sm3 condensate. The total volume of reserves has been reduced by 257 million Sm3 o.e. compared to last years reporting. The reduction corresponds to last year's production. 504 million Sm3 o.e. are classified as contingent resources on existing fields. This is 4 % of the total resource base. This volume, which is comprised of 252 million Sm3 oil, 198 billion Sm3 gas, 22 million tons NGL and 12 millions Sm3 condensate, is 60 million Sm3 o.e. higher than last years estimate. This is due mainly to a few new gas injection projects being evaluated.

Recoverable resources in discoveries not yet approved for development constitute 170 million Sm3 oil, 852 billion Sm3 gas, 16 million tons NGL, and 64 million Sm3 condensate, in total 1115 million Sm3 o.e. or 8 percent of the total resource base. This is a reduction of 150 million Sm3 o.e. compared with last years estimate. 64 discoveries are not yet approved for development (resource classes 4F, 5F and 7F). 71 discoveries are reported in other fields or discoveries.

According to approved plans for production, the expected average oil recovery on the Norwegian continental shelf is 44 percent. This has been constant for the last 5 years after several years with a steady increase. The status of increased recovery will be one of the main themes in the Resource Report, which is planned to published later this year.