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05/01/2007 A total of 248 million Sm³ marketable oil equivalents (o.e.) were produced in 2006. This is 16 million Sm³ o.e. less than in the record year 2004. One new field, Ringhorne Øst, commenced production during the year. An additional six new fields are expected to start producing in 2007; Alvheim, Blane, Enoch, Ormen Lange, Snøhvit and Vilje.
Total production of petroleum in 2007 is expected to reach in excess of 240 million Sm³ o.e. Production is then expected to peak in 2009 at more than 260 million Sm³ o.e. In the five-year period up to 2011, production is expected to reach 1 290 million Sm³ o.e.. This is roughly the same volume produced during the five-year period 2002 - 2006. The percentage of gas in total petroleum sales is expected to increase from 35 per cent in 2006 to 45 per cent in 2011.
Figure 1) Actual and forecast sales of petroleum
2006 was a record-breaking year for gas sales from the shelf. About 87 billion Sm³ gas was sold in 2006, an increase of 2.2 billion compared with 2005 (+ 2.5 per cent). Gas sales are expected to increase to more than 90 billion Sm³ in 2007, and production of marketable gas is expected to continue to rise in the years to come.
Production of oil was at its lowest level since 1993/1994. 136.7 million Sm³ was produced in 2006, compared with 148.1 million in the previous year. 48 fields contributed to oil production in 2006, 40 of which have come off plateau production. A continued commitment to drilling new production wells and other measures to improve recovery are important for oil production on the Norwegian shelf.
Oil production in 2006 was 2.9 per cent lower than the NPD's estimate prepared in the autumn of 2005. The NPD .prepares prognoses with an 80-per cent confidence interval. This means that there is a ten percent likelihood that production will be lower than the low estimate and a ten per cent likelihood that production will be higher than the high estimate. Annual production of oil in 2006 was well within the range of uncertainty.
For 2007, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate estimates that oil production will be somewhat lower than in 2006; 129 million Sm³ (2.2 million bbls per day). The uncertainty in 2007 is estimated at +/- 13 per cent. The uncertainty is particularly linked to the ability of the reservoirs to deliver, timing of start-up for new projects and the regularity of producing fields.
The NPD has also forecast 2007 condensate production to be six million Sm³ and NGL production to be nine million tonnes.
During the 2007 - 2011 period, somewhat reduced oil production is expected as compared with the previous five-year period. The estimate indicates total production of 625 million Sm³ oil, which is 160 million Sm³ less than in the previous five-year period. More than 99 per cent of the oil production is expected to come from producing fields or fields approved for development. This also includes improved recovery measures on these same fields.
Figure 4) Oil production 2000 - 2011 divided by maturity