The NPD will not award its IOR Prize for improved oil recovery for 2008

17/06/2009 The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) did not identify any candidates worthy of receiving the IOR prize for 2008. The IOR prize is awarded to fields, companies or individuals that exhibit the courage, willingness and ability to improve oil recovery beyond the statutory expectations.

Work was also done last year to improve oil recovery from the fields on the Norwegian shelf to maintain production in accordance with the approved plans. However, no measures were approved or implemented that met the criteria for the NPD's prize. This has also occurred in the past, in 2002. After 2002, we saw definite improvements and had a number of worthy candidates for the prize in 2003.

More than half of the oil in a reservoir can be left behind after planned field cessation. If we manage to extract more of this volume, the value creation could be enormous. In 2005, the authorities set a goal of reserve growth of 5 billion barrels of oil (800 million Sm3) by 2015. Reserves growth in the last couple of years has been considerably lower than expected.

There appears to be a trend on the part of the oil companies to prioritise short-term measures to boost production from day to day, and to increase production in the year to come. In spite of extremely high oil prices well into 2008, no measures were implemented with a more long-term production perspective.

The NPD regrets the apparent lack of willingness to invest for the future, with a conscious commitment to research, technological development, pilot projects, and the willingness to use new methods on the fields. It was precisely this type of commitment that created the substantial additional volumes produced from the fields in the 1980s and 1990s.

We know that several of the oil companies on the Norwegian shelf are working on plans and projects that, in time, can yield good results. However, there seems to be little willingness to make decisions and implement these plans in practice. As things stand now, far too many good projects are being postponed. This could result in effects such as the loss of profitable but time-critical resources. Making decisions to promote improved recovery in the next few years is particularly important for the large fields.

The IOR prize has a strategic importance in highlighting the NPD's focus on improved oil recovery and value creation from the Norwegian shelf. Several candidates have been considered, but none fulfilled the criteria for the prize in 2008.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's prize for Improved Oil Recovery, the IOR prize, was first awarded in 1998. It has been awarded nine times, in recognition of creativity, steadfastness and willingness to take risks when it comes to using methods and technology that can improve recovery beyond what can be expected with the existing incentives.

Previous winners:

1998: Hydro. Troll oil field

1999: Saga. Foam assisted Water alternating Gas injection, FAWAG pilot on the Snorre field

2000: Phillips petroleum. IOR/EOR projects decided in times with low oil prices

2001: Statoil and Egil Sunde. Use of bacteria, MEOR; in the Norne field

2002: No prize

2003: BP. Life of Field Seismic

2004: Gullfaks licence. Project decisions onadvanced drilling and new methods for produced water treatment

2005: Arne Skauge. International recognized IOR specialist. Performing offshore pilots. Educating students.

2006: Halliburton and Baker Hughes. Drilling and well technology on the Troll field

2007: Talisman. Reopening of the Yme field


Updated: 04/09/2009