Verification of oil metering

07/05/2007 All petroleum that is produced and exported from the Norwegian shelf is metered in connection with purchase, sale and calculation of taxes and fees.  The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate supervises this metering.  This summer, the accuracy of water content analyses of the oil will be checked and verified.

Analyses of water content in petroleum samples help form a basis for calculating taxes, fees and state revenues from the petroleum sector.

This summer, the quality of the work carried out in 49 laboratories (fiscal metering stations in land facilities and on offshore facilities) in eight oil companies will be examined.  This verification is conducted approximately every second year, with this year marking the fifth time the verification is performed.  The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is the initiator of the control and will follow up the result.  The Norwegian Metrology and Accreditation Service will be responsible for practical implementation of the verification.

"It is very important that these measurements are accurate.  Even minor deviations can have significant consequences, because we are dealing with very large volumes of petroleum," says Anne-Minne Torkildsen, project manager in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

In 2006, the total volume of petroleum exported from the Norwegian shelf amounted to about 249 million marketable cubic metres of oil equivalents.  Taxes, fees and direct ownership secure a large portion of these values for the Norwegian state.

"This means that a deviation of just a half percentage point would constitute enormous values," says Torkildsen.

The laboratory technicians who perform the daily analyses of the water content in the oil will perform the same analysis on three to five test bottles that they receive.  They will not know the water content in these samples.  The samples will be sent out in June and are to be reported in August.

"The result will give a good indication of whether the daily work is performed well enough.  The test responses will be sent to the Norwegian Metrology and Accreditation Service, which will compare the results against a reference value.  If the quality proves to be unsatisfactory, the NPD will follow up those particular cases," says Torkildsen.

The companies will be informed regarding the results, which will be published anonymously in report form.  The work is scheduled for completion within the year.

Contact in the NPD:
Eldbjørg Vaage Melberg, tel. +47 51 87 61 00.


Updated: 04/09/2009