Slight increase in the resource base on the Norwegian shelf

25/02/2016 The NPD's estimate of total discovered and undiscovered petroleum resources on the Norwegian shelf has increased with 0.1 billion standard cubic metres of oil equivalents (Sm3 o.e.) from the previous year to about 14.2 billion Sm3 o.e.

Forty seven per cent of these resources have been sold and delivered. It is expected that 7.6 billion Sm3 o.e. remain to be produced. Of this, 4.7 billion Sm3 o.e. are proven resources. The estimate for undiscovered resources is 2.9 billion Sm3 o.e., or about 38 per cent of total remaining resources.

Exploration activity in 2015 yielded resource growth estimated at 30 million Sm3 o.e. A total of 56 exploration wells were spudded, and 16 discoveries were made. Six of these were in the Norwegian Sea and ten were in the North Sea. Several of the discoveries are still being evaluated, and the estimates are therefore quite uncertain

Undiscovered resources

Undiscovered resources comprise oil and gas that probably exists and can be recovered, but which has not yet been proven through drilling.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's estimate for undiscovered resources is reviewed every other year. The resource estimate for the undiscovered resources was updated in 2015. The volume of undiscovered resources is estimated at 2 920 million Sm3 o.e. This represents an increase of 85 million Sm3 o.e. compared with the 2014 resource accounts. Undiscovered resources account for about 38 per cent of the total remaining resources on the Norwegian shelf. About half of the undiscovered resources are found in the Barents Sea; the rest are approximately equally divided between the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea.

Resources per sea area

The North Sea holds about 51 per cent of the total remaining resources. The distribution of remaining resources in the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea is approximately equal.

The North Sea is the engine in Norwegian petroleum activity with 65 producing fields at year-end, while the Norwegian Sea has 16 producing fields and the Barents Sea has one (Snøhvit).

See the complete resource accounts:


Updated: 25/02/2016

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