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Petroleum production

16/01/2012 In total, 218.7 million saleable standard cubic metres of oil equivalents (Sm³ o.e.) were produced in 2011. This is 44.8 million Sm³ o.e. less than in the record year 2004, and down five per cent from 2010.

The total estimated production of petroleum in 2012 is approximately 222 million Sm³ o.e. Production is expected to hold steady around this level until 2016.

For the five-year period up to 2016, production is expected to be 1120 million Sm³ o.e. In the five-year period 2007-2011, production was slightly less than 1170 million Sm³ o.e.


The gas percentage of the total petroleum sales is expected to increase from 46 per cent in 2011 to 50 per cent in 2016.


Actual and projected sales of petroleum 1971-2016.

Figure 1. Actual and projected sales of petroleum 1971-2016.

In 2011, 101.3 billion Sm³ gas was sold, (100.6 billion Sm3 40 MJ gas). This represents a reduction of five billion Sm3 compared with 2010 (five per cent). The NPD’s assessment is that this decline is largely market-driven. Gas sales are expected to rise in the next few years.


Actual and projected gas sales through 2016

Figure 2. Actual and projected gas sales through 2016.



Oil production in 2011 was 97.3 million Sm³ (1.7 million bbls per day), compared with 104.4 million Sm3 (1.8 million bbls per day) in the previous year. 62 fields contributed to the total oil production in 2011, in addition to test production from one discovery.

Continued investments in the drilling of new development wells and other measures to improve recovery are important for the oil production on the Norwegian shelf.

Oil production in 2011 totalled slightly less than one per cent lower than the estimates prepared by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in the autumn of 2010.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate prepares forecasts with a confidence interval of 80 per cent. This means that there is a 10 per cent likelihood of the production being lower than the lowest estimate and a 10 per cent likelihood that the production will be higher than the highest estimate.

As for 2012, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate estimates that oil production will continue the decline from 2011, to 93.8 million Sm³ (1.6 million bbls per day). The uncertainty in 2012 is estimated at +14/-15 per cent. This uncertainty is particularly linked to the reservoirs’ ability to deliver, drilling of new development wells, start-up of new fields and regularity of producing fields.


Uncertainty in future oil production

Figure 3. Uncertainty in future oil production.


Forecasts for production of condensate and NGL have also been prepared for 2012, 4.3 million Sm³ and 9.2 million tonnes, respectively. Total liquid production is therefore estimated at 115.6 million Sm3 o.e. (1.99 million bbls o.e. per day).

The table below shows production forecasts distributed by the various products for the next five years.




Forecasts for the 2012-2016 period indicate lower oil production compared with the previous five-year period. The estimated total production is 458 million Sm³ oil, 110 million Sm³ less than in the previous five-year period. 98 per cent of the oil production in the period is expected to come from fields in operation, or from fields approved for development. This includes improved recovery measures on the same fields. Approved production accounts for 88 per cent of the volume in the five-year period.


Oil production 2006-2015, distributed by maturity

Figure 4. Oil production 2006-2016, distributed by maturity.


Updated: 16/01/2012