Text size adjustment
Hold down the Ctrl key (PC) or Cmd key (MAC) and press "+" to enlarge or "-" to reduce the text size.
23/06/2020 More than 50 years have passed since the first commercial discovery of oil was made in the North Sea. The gigantic Johan Sverdrup field – which started production in 2019 – will produce for the next 50 years according to plan.
There are still vast remaining resources on the Norwegian Shelf, and there is a high level of activity in the North Sea – both within exploration, development and operation.
That said, many things have changed since the beginning of the oil adventure , particularly in recent years:
We have spoken with people in three companies that have activities on the Norwegian Shelf and one of our own exploration experts. All of them confirm that the North Sea is still interesting.
At the same time, they point out the great importance of reusing platforms, pipelines and equipment that is already in place.
In order to reuse, we must explore. We asked Wenche Tjelta Johansen – Assistant director exploration at the NPD – why it is still important to search for oil and gas in the North Sea, and what so-called “near-infrastructure exploration” means.
She tells us that 10 of the 17 discoveries made on the Norwegian Shelf in 2019, were in the North Sea:
One of the most important events in the North Sea in 2019 was the opening of the gigantic Johan Sverdrup field. The field is developed with solutions that will last for a long time and are operated using power from shore. That means extremely low CO2 emissions from production.
In the video interview, Therese Bjarke from Equinor talks about this milestone in Norwegian oil and gas history. She also talks about jobs, positive ripple effects and value creation for society:
Entrepreneurship and innovation are words frequently used to describe the work taking place in the North Sea. Norway leads the world within several aspects of the oil and gas industry, including the supplier industry.
Lars Høier from Aker BP is focused on good forms of cooperation across all players and professional disciplines. He also commends the interaction between the authorities and the companies on the Norwegian Shelf, and the advantage of stable framework conditions and a long-term perspective.
Høier points out that building strategic alliances is important when it comes to creating value for society:
Reuse of platforms and pipelines and improvements on existing fields are also topics in the conversation with Tor Inge Hansen from ConocoPhillips. He represents a company that has worked on the Norwegian Shelf for more than 50 years, and which made the first commercial oil discovery.
Hansen still sees significant development opportunities for what he calls “Greater Ekofisk” (link to norskpetroleum.no), which includes the Ekofisk, Eldfisk and Embla fields. He also talks about the Tor field in the same area. It was shut down a few years ago, but is being redeveloped as Tor II.
NB! Video clips were shot before the corona pandemic reached Norway.
The oil fairy-tale began in the North Sea – and this sea area is still the engine driving Norwegian petroleum activity. The first commercial oil discovery was made in 1969.
The North Sea is the most mature part of the Shelf as regards petroleum activity, and it is also the area where the most oil and gas has been discovered and produced.
Resource Report 2019, discoveries and fields – the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate
Resource Report 2018, exploration – the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate