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Petroleum production

15/01/2015 216.7 million saleable standard cubic metres of oil equivalents (Sm³ o.e.) were produced in 2014. This is 47.4 million Sm³ o.e. less than in the record-setting year 2004, and 1.4 per cent more than in 2013. This minor increase was slightly larger than expected in the forecasts made for 2014. Oil production increased from 2013, after a steady decline since 2001.

Overall petroleum production in 2015 is presumed to total 215.6 million Sm³ o.e, somewhat lower than in 2014, and will then remain relatively stable.  

A total of 1104 million Sm³ o.e. was produced over the five-year period 2010-2014. Production in the five-year period leading up to 2019 is expected to total 1080 million Sm³ o.e.


Actual and projected sale of petroleum 1971 – 2019

Figure 1. Actual and projected sale of petroleum 1971 – 2019.

A total of 109 billion Sm³ of gas was sold in 2014 (107.2 billion Sm3 40 megajoules of gas). This is 0.2 billion Sm³ more than the corresponding level in 2013. The sold volume is about as presumed in the prognosis prepared for the shelf in 2013, and sales were 0.1 billion Sm3 (0.1 per cent) higher than expected.

The prognosis in figure 2 shows a stable production level, followed by a gradual increase in gas production.


Actual and projected gas sales through 2019.

Figure 2. Actual and projected gas sales through 2019.


Oil production in 2014 totalled 87.8 million Sm³ (1.51 million barrels per day), compared with 84.9 million Sm3 (1.46 million barrels per day) the year before. 73 fields contributed to oil production in 2014, in addition to a discovery which has undergone test production.

Last year's oil production was 2.3 million Sm³, nearly three per cent, higher than the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's (NPD's) projections from the autumn of 2013. Production increased by three per cent from 2013 to 2014.

The production decline was expected to reverse in 2014. The reasons for this are the completion of multiple major projects on producing fields, drilling of wells and start-up of new fields in 2014. Fields that were scheduled to come on stream in 2014 started production somewhat later than reported in the autumn of 2013, but in return, many of the established fields have had greater success than expected with their drilling campaigns in 2014. There are also indications that regularity on the fields has been better than before.

The definition of the sales product from the more mature fields that have supplied condensate to Kårstø has also changed. In connection with starting production on Gudrun, the sales product was redefined to an oil (Gudrun blend). This has resulted in a sale of 0.77 million Sm³ of oil, which was not included in the forecast for 2014. The change has no financial impact, as the volume of condensate saw a comparable reduction compared with the forecast.

The NPD 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.
The NPD predicts that oil production in 2015 will be somewhat lower than in 2014, 86.3 million Sm³ (1.49 million barrels per day). Oil production is expected to remain relatively stable in the years to come, but is expected to decline somewhat more than was assumed in the previous forecast. The uncertainty in 2015 is estimated at +/- 12 per cent. The uncertainty is particularly related to the start-up of new fields, the reservoirs' ability to deliver, drilling of new development wells and the regularity of the fields in operation.

 Uncertainty in future oil production.
Figure 3. Uncertainty in future oil production.

Forecasts for production of condensate and NGL for 2015 have also been prepared, 2.1 million Sm³ and 10.3 million tonnes, respectively. Total liquid production has therefore been estimated at 108 million Sm3 o.e. (1.86 million barrels o.e. per day).

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








Olje / Oil
(mill Sm3)






(mill Sm3 o.e.)






Kondensat / Condensate
(mill Sm3)






Væske / Liquid
(mill Sm3 o.e.)






Væske / Liquid
(mill bbls o.e. per day)






Gass / Gas
(billion Sm3)






Totalt / Total
(mill Sm3 o.e.)







Oil production during the 2015-2019 period is projected to reach 422 million Sm³. This is 42 million Sm³ less than in the previous five-year period. This oil production is expected to come from producing fields or from fields which are approved for development. This includes improved recovery measures on the same fields. Production that has been approved, accounts for 94 per cent of the volume in this five-year period.

Oil production 2010-2019 distributed by maturity.

Figure 4. Oil production 2010-2019 distributed by maturity.

These forecasts have been prepared under the prevailing assumptions for the autumn of 2014. If the price level remains much lower over time, this will most likely have an impact on the activity level and thus also production.

Over the short term, this could make improved recovery projects, shown as resources in fields in figure 4, more difficult to implement. The production of reserves could also be affected, as approved measures may be reconsidered. If this is the case over the somewhat longer term, decisions on new field developments could be further postponed.

Updated: 27/11/2015