New report on petroleum activity in the High North

Bente-Nyland

Director Bente Nyland presents the report "Petroleum Activity in the High North" in Hammerfest today.

02/04/2019 Today the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate will present the report Petroleum Activity in the High North. The report places the petroleum activity in the High North into a historical, international and technological framework.

“We hope the report can contribute in a knowledge-based approach to the debate,” says Director General Bente Nyland, who presented the report at the Barents Sea conference today.

Petroleum activity has taken place in the High North since the first exploration wells were drilled near the coast in the Laptev Sea in Russia in the 1930s. In Norway, petroleum activities in the north started in 1979, and production started from the Snøhvit field in 2007.

Norway is one of five Arctic coastal states, but due to the Gulf Stream, most of our sea areas remain ice-free year-round. The climate in the High North in Canada, the US, Russia and Greenland is considerably more challenging, with ice sheets partly or completely covering the area throughout the year.

Two fields are in production in the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea – the Snøhvit gas field and the Goliat oil field. The Johan Castberg field is being developed and will start to produce in 2022, according to plan. Several discoveries have been made that are relevant candidates for development, and there are still considerable undiscovered oil and gas resources. The companies must explore if these resources are to be proven. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate expects that as much as 65 per cent of the undiscovered resources on the Norwegian Shelf lie in the Barents Sea.

“Significant values have been created from the petroleum activity in the Barents Sea. To date, around 155 exploration wells have been drilled there, and the NPD’s resource report for exploration (2018) revealed that every 1000 kroner invested in exploration in the Barents Sea has yielded 2100 kroner in return,” emphasises Director General Bente Nyland.

The Petroleum Activity in the High North report shows how exploration and large-scale oil and gas production take place under demanding marine conditions in both the US, Canada and Russia. Exploration and production take place in areas that have both sea ice, first-year ice, perennial ice and icebergs, as well as in areas that are entirely icebound. Oil and gas are also produced in areas where distances are vast and wind and wave conditions are rough.

“Ever since the start on the Norwegian Shelf 50 years ago, there has been a stepwise approach to new areas and new fields. This approach is founded on technological knowledge and experience both from the Norwegian Shelf and internationally. The Director General’s new report shows that this also applies to the petroleum activity in the High North,” says the Director General.

Read the report "Petroleum Activity in the High North" (pdf) (in Norwegian only)

Read the Resource Report 2018 - Exploration

Updated: 02/04/2019

Latest news

Drilling permit for well 6608/1-1 S
15/08/2022 The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted PGNiG Norway Upstream AS drilling permit for well 6608/1-1 S, cf. Section 13 of the Resource Management Regulations.
Oil and gas discovery northeast of the Skarv field in the Norwegian Sea – 6507/3-15
12/08/2022 Aker BP ASA, operator of production licence 941, has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 6507/3-15.
NPD to present new resource report
04/08/2022 On Thursday, 25 August, Kjersti Dahle Grov, Director of Technology, Analysis and Coexistence, will present the Resource Report 2022.
Drilling permit for well 6507/8-11 S
03/08/2022 The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted Equinor Energy AS drilling permit for well 6507/8-11 S, cf. Section 13 of the Resource Management Regulations.
Dry well near the Brage field in the North Sea – 31/4-A-13 C
29/07/2022 Wintershall Dea Norge AS, operator of production licence 055, has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 31/4-A-13 C.
High level of activity on the Norwegian shelf in the first half of 2022
20/07/2022 50 years after the Storting (parliament) decided to establish the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), there is still plenty of activity on the Norwegian shelf.
Production figures June 2022
20/07/2022 Preliminary production figures for June 2022 show an average daily production of 1 529 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate.
Drilling permit for well 31/1-3 S and 31/1-3 A
20/07/2022 The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted Equinor Energy AS drilling permit for well 31/1-3 S and 31/1-3 A, cf. Section 13 of the Resource Management Regulations.
Gas discovery near the Skarv field in the Norwegian Sea – 6507/2-6
13/07/2022 Aker BP ASA, operator of production licence 261, has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 6507/2-6.
Dry well near the Fenja field in the Norwegian Sea – 6306/3-2
11/07/2022 ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS, operator of production licence 935, has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 6306/3-2.