Exceptional Ekofisk


The Ekofisk field in the North Sea.

09/06/2021 This is the 50th anniversary of the Ekofisk field starting up, making Norway an oil-producing nation. And what an adventure it's been.

Over these 50 years, the fields on the Norwegian shelf have collectively produced oil and gas valued at a dizzying NOK 16,000 billion.

Ekofisk has been – and remains – an important contributor to this. It's a fantastic story of bright minds and smart methods, which in many ways illustrates Norwegian petroleum history.

Great resource utilisation 

"The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate congratulates operator ConocoPhillips and the licensees on achieving yet another milestone. Ekofisk must be one of the finest examples of maximum resource utilisation through improved recovery measures," says Director General Ingrid Sølvberg of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Ekofisk was originally scheduled to shut down in 1997. Water injection, which started in the late 1980s to improve recovery, made a strong contribution toward extending production by more than 30 years so far.

"Increasingly better utilisation and development of technology could make it possible to continue production from Ekofisk for decades to come. The first field on the Norwegian continental shelf could also be one of the last," says Sølvberg.

Value creation

On Ekofisk, the values come from a reservoir 3,000 metres below the seabed. More than three billion barrels of oil have been produced so far from the 300-metre oil column here. If the licensees are able to increase the recovery rate by a few more percentage points, this will have a substantial impact on value creation from Ekofisk.


Figure 1. Historical production on Ekofisk (source: norskpetroleum.no/en). We can clearly see the effect of the water injection that started in 1987. Without the water injection, less than 20 per cent of the oil in Ekofisk would have been produced. Based on the current plans, the operator plans to extract more than half of the original oil in the reservoir.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of prime minister Trygve Bratteli celebrating the start of test production from Ekofisk.

Read more

You can read more about the history in then-Director General Bente Nyland's speech (in Norwegian only) at the opening of the Ekofisk Industrial Heritage exhibit at the Norwegian Petroleum Museum in 2019, on the website for the Industrial Heritage project and at the website Norwegian Petroleum, among other sources.



From left: Anne Myhrvold, director at the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, Steinar Våge, director ConocoPhillips Europe, and Ingrid Sølvberg, director general at the NPD. Photo: ConocoPhillips.




Ola Anders Skauby

Director Communication, public affairs and emergency response

Tel: +47 905 98 519

Updated: 10/06/2021

Latest news

Seabed minerals: Substantial resources on the Norwegian shelf
27/01/2023 The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has prepared a resource assessment of the seabed minerals on the Norwegian shelf.
Production figures December 2022
20/01/2023 Preliminary production figures for December 2022 show an average daily production of 1 983 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate.
Gas discovery near the Aasta Hansteen-field in the Norwegian Sea – 6605/1-2 S and 6605/1-2 A
18/01/2023 Equinor Energi AS, operator of production licence 1128, has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 6605/1-2 S and appraisal well 6605/1-2 A.
Drilling permit for well 15/2-2 S and 15/2-2 A
17/01/2023 The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted OMV (Norge) AS drilling permit for well 15/2-2 S and 15/2-2 A, cf. Section 13 of the Resource Management Regulations.
Changes in the regulations
13/01/2023 The Resource Management Regulations and Regulations relating to documentation in connection with storing CO2 on the shelf have been changed.
Six companies have applied for CO2 storage acreage
11/01/2023 The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) has received applications from six companies in connection with the announcement of an area in the North Sea for potential storage of CO2 on the Norwegian shelf.
Announcement: Acreage for CO2 storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf
11/01/2023 On 11 of January 2023, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced an area for CO2 storage pursuant to the CO2 Storage Regulations.
APA 2022: 25 companies offered ownership interests
10/01/2023 On 10 January 2023, 25 companies were offered ownership interests in a total of 47 production licences on the Norwegian shelf in the awards in predefined areas (APA) 2022.
Investments for the future on the Shelf
09/01/2023 Only rarely have we seen so much oil and gas produced on the Norwegian shelf as was the case last year – and only rarely have we seen such significant investment decisions.
Continuing the near subsurface mapping for offshore wind
06/01/2023 The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has awarded contracts to the companies Fugro and Enviros for mapping of the shallowest strata under the seabed.