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Resource accounts as of 31 December 2019

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's estimate of total proven and unproven petroleum resources on the Norwegian continental shelf is about 15.7 billion standard cubic metres of oil equivalents.

This is 104 million more than as of 31 December 2018. Forty-eight per cent of the resources have been sold and delivered. About 48 per cent of the remaining resources have not yet been proven.

Resources is a general term for all oil and gas that can be recovered. Resources are classified according to maturity, which measures how far along they are in the planning process leading to production. The primary classifications are reserves, contingent resources and unproven resources.

Oil and condensate are stated in million standard cubic metres (Sm3), NGL in million tonnes, and gas in billion standard cubic metres (Sm3). The conversion factor for NGL is 1 tonne NGL = 1.9 Sm3 o.e. The conversion factor for gas is 1000 Sm3 gas = 1 Sm3 o.e. Total oil equivalents are stated in million Sm3 of o.e.

This article also includes a summary of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s resource accounts following the United Nations Framework Classification System.

Total resources

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's (NPD's) basic estimate of total proven and unproven petroleum resources is about 15.7 billion standard cubic metres of oil equivalents (Sm3 o.e.). Of this, 7.6 billion Sm3 o.e., or 48 per cent, has been sold and delivered. The estimate for unproven resources is 3.9 billion Sm3 o.e. The resource estimate for unproven resources was updated in 2019. The estimate was reduced by 30 million Sm3 o.e. compared with the accounts in 2018.

The NPD estimates that 8.2 billion Sm3 o.e. are left to produce. Of this, 4.3 billion Sm3 o.e. are proven resources.

Download: All resource account tables for the Norwegian shelf as of 31 December 2019 (Excel)

Petroleum resources and uncertainty in the estimates as of 31 December 2019

Illustration of petroleum resources and uncertainty in estimates at 31 December 2019

 

Total petroleum resources on the Norwegian Continental shelf at 31 December 2019

  Oil
mill. Sm3
Gas
bill. Sm3
NGL
mill. tonnes
Condensate
mill. Sm3
Sum o.e.
mill. Sm3
Produced 4430.9 2571.4 227.7 115.2 7550.0
Reserves 1169.0 1544.5 87.2 20.7 2899.8
Contingent resources in fields 335.2 309.9 15.3 2.4 676.5
Contingent resources in discoveries 352.7 310.2 16.8 7.3 702.2
Undiscovered resources 1985.0 1805.0 0.0 120.0 3910.0
Total 8272.8 6541.0 347.0 265.6 15738.5

 

The Norwegian Continental shelf - changes from 2018

  Change
Oil

mill. Sm3
Change
Gas

bill. Sm3
Change
NGL

mill. tonnes
Change
Condensate

mill. Sm3
Change
Sum o.e.

mill. Sm3
Produced 83.0 117.0 9.8 0.6 219.3
Reserves -8.2 -77.2 -5.1 -1.3 -96.4
Contingent resources in fields -33.8 6.2 -1.8 -0.1 -31.2
Contingent resources in discoveries 34.6 9.2 -0.7 0.1 42.6
Undiscovered resources 5.0 -25.0 0.0 -10.0 -30.0
Total 80.5 30.2 2.2 -10.6 104.3

Download: Table (excel)

 

Reserves

Reserves are recoverable petroleum volumes not yet produced, but for which a production decision has been made. This includes both resources where the authorities have approved a Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) and resources that the licensees (the companies in the production licence) have decided to produce, but still need to acquire the necessary permits from the authorities.

At the end of the year, reserves totalled 2900 million Sm3 o.e. Fifty-three per cent of this is gas. Gross reserves, or the estimate before deducting production, increased by 123 million Sm3 o.e. compared with the previous year. The reason for this solid increase is reserve growth in several producing fields, submission of a PDO for the "Balder Future" project and the plan to redevelop the Tor field. Production in 2019 totalled 216 million Sm3 o.e.

The change in the accounts is 219 million Sm3 o.e. This is a technical accounting-data change which results in a net reduction in reserves of 96 million Sm3 o.e., or about 3 per cent.

Contingent resources

Contingent resources are proven oil and gas for which a production decision has not yet been made. Petroleum volumes in potential improved recovery projects are included in this category. At the end of the year, contingent resources totalled 1378 million Sm3 o.e. This constitutes 32 per cent of the remaining proven resources. Resources considered not to be commercially recoverable, are not included in the accounts.

Decisions are made every year to develop some of the contingent resources, at which point they are moved to the reserves category. The growth in the contingent resources category comes from both new discoveries, changed resource estimates and new opportunities in fields and discoveries.

Forty-two wildcat wells were completed in 2019, and seventeen discoveries were made; one in the Barents Sea, six in the Norwegian Sea and ten in the North Sea. The total estimate for discoveries the NPD presumes could/will be developed is 70 million Sm3 o.e. Many of the discoveries are still being evaluated, and the estimates are therefore highly uncertain. Three of the discoveries in 2019 are assessed as unlikely candidates for development; these resources are not included in the accounts.

Resources in discoveries have increased by 43 million Sm3 o.e., to 702 million Sm3 o.e and constitute 16 per cent of the remaining proven resources. The increase is mostly due to 14 new discoveries in 2019. Work is also under way on several discoveries, which can lead to changes in projections and classification. Seven discoveries from last year's accounts are now considered less likely candidates for development while five discoveries have an increased likelihood of development. Duva and Solveig have also been moved to the field portfolio following approval of PDOs.

Contingent resources in fields amount to 676 million Sm3 o.e., or 16 per cent of the remaining proven resources. Of the contingent resources, 230 million Sm3 are potential measures in fields (RC 7A); they are not included in the tables for the respective ocean areas. In 2019, contingent resources in fields were reduced by 31 million Sm3 o.e. compared with the accounts in 2018. This reduction can mostly be explained by submission of the PDO for the "Balder Future" project and a redevelopment of the Tor field.

Unproven resources

Unproven resources cover oil and gas that will most likely be discovered and can be produced, but which have yet to be proven through drilling.

The resource estimate for the unproven resources was updated in 2019. Such updates are carried out every two years and the next update will be in 2021. The unproven resources are estimated at 3910 million Sm3 o.e. This is a reduction of 30 million Sm3 o.e. compared with the resource accounts for 2018. Unproven resources constitute about 48 per cent of the overall remaining resources on the Norwegian shelf.

UNFC Classification 

The United Nations Framework Classification System (UNFC) is a classification system that was created in part to compare resource estimates across various classification systems, and thus across countries and organisations.
Since 2014, the NPD has also classified the Norwegian petroleum resources according to UNFC.

Resources in each of the about 700 Norwegian projects included in the resource accounts have been sorted along three axes; E, F and G. They represent different degrees of environmental/socio-economic attractiveness, technical maturity and uncertainty.

The Norwegian resource accounts as of 31 December 2019, converted to UNFC, can be summarised as shown in the resource accounts table under the “UNFC” tab.

An explanation of the method used to convert from the Norwegian system to UNFC can be found in this publication from 2014 (pdf).

 

Resources per ocean area

The North Sea holds about 44 per cent of remaining resources. The distribution of the rest of the resources shows that there is 37 per cent left in the Barents Sea and 19 per cent left in the Norwegian Sea. A significant percentage of the expected remaining resources in the Barents Sea have yet to be proven.

The North Sea is the powerhouse of the Norwegian petroleum activities, with 66 producing fields at the end of the year. Production started on three fields in 2019; Johan Sverdrup, Oda and Utgard.

There are 19 producing fields in the Norwegian Sea. One new field, Trestakk, came on stream in July 2019. There are two producing fields in the Barents Sea.

Download: All resource account tables for the Norwegian shelf as of 31 December 2019 

Remaining petroleum resources distributed by ocean area as of 31 December 2019

Pai chart showing remaining petroleum resources by ocean area

 

The North Sea

The resource accounts for the North Sea show that 150 million Sm3 o.e. was sold and delivered from this part of the Norwegian shelf in 2019. Gross reserves increased by 110 million Sm3 o.e, before deducting production. Remaining reserves in the North Sea were reduced by 40 million in 2019. At the end of the year, reserves constitute 2118 million Sm3 o.e.

The largest contributions to the increase in gross reserves come from the PDO for the "Balder Future" project and the plan to redevelop the Tor field. Development -decisions have also been made for the new fields Duva and Solveig. Reserves also increased on several fields such as Gullfaks Sør, Gjøa and Gudrun, while Ekofisk saw a reduction.

Contingent resources in fields were reduced by 52 million Sm3 o.e. in 2019. This reduction was primarily caused by submission of the PDO for the "Balder Future" project and redevelopment of the Tor field, which has been shut down since 2015. Contingent resources in discoveries have increased by 31 million Sm3 o.e. compared with last year's accounts, in part due to growth from new discoveries, as well as the fact that three discoveries which in previous years were considered unlikely candidates for development, are now being considered for development.

PDOs have been approved for discoveries 36/7-4 (Cara) and 16/4-6 S (Luno II) with field names of Duva and Solveig, respectively, and resources have been matured to reserves. Ten discoveries were made in the North Sea in 2019. The resource growth from nine discoveries totals about 46 million Sm3 o.e.

Unproven resources are estimated at 685 million Sm3 o.e. This is a reduction of 30 million Sm3 o.e. compared with last year's resource accounts.

 

Total petroleum resources in the North Sea as of 31 December 2019

  Oil
mill. Sm3
Gas
bill. Sm3

NGL
mill. tonnes

Condensate
mill. Sm3
Sum o.e.
mill. Sm3
Produced 3796.7 1939.6 162.0 70.2 6114.2
Reserves 943.7 1071.3 54.2 0.0 2118.1
Contingent resources in fields 163.0 134.5 10.3 0.0 317.1
Contingent resources in discoveries 205.0 131.7 7.7 0.0 351.5
Undiscovered resources 390.0 245.0   50.0 685.0
Total 5498.4 3522.0 234.3 120.2 9585.8

 

The North Sea - changes from 2018

  Change
Oil

mill. Sm3
Change
Gas

mrd. Sm3
Change
NGL

mill. tonnes
Change
Condensate

mill. Sm3
Change
Sum o.e.

mill. Sm3
Produced 68.8 69.8 6.0 0.0 149.8
Reserves -4.4 -34.7 -0.5 0.0 -40.0
Contingent resources in fields -34.1 -14.3 -1.9 0.0 -52.0
Contingent resources in discoveries 32.5 0.2 -1.1 0.0 30.6
Undiscovered resources -30.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 -30.0
Total 32.7 21.0 2.4 0.0 58.4

Download: Table (excel)

 

The Norwegian Sea

The resource accounts for the Norwegian Sea show that 59 million Sm3 o.e. were sold and delivered from this part of the Norwegian shelf over the past year. Gross reserves also increased by 6 million Sm3 o.e, before deducting production. This entails a reduction in remaining reserves in the Norwegian Sea of 53 million Sm3 o.e. in 2019. At the end of the year, reserves constitute 492 million Sm3 o.e.
The increase in gross reserves is caused in part by an increase in reserves on the Draugen field.

Contingent resources in fields were reduced by 7 million Sm3 o.e. in 2019. One reason is that resources have been matured to reserves on e.g. the Draugen field. The estimate for contingent resources in discoveries was reduced by 6 million Sm3 o.e. compared with last year's accounts. The most important reason is that discoveries 6506/9-2 S (Fogelberg), 6706/6-1 (Hvitveis) and 6707/10-3 S (Ivory) have been deemed unlikely candidates for development and are therefore not included in the accounts.

Six new discoveries were made in the Norwegian Sea in 2019. Overall resource growth from four of the discoveries totals about 16 million Sm3 o.e. Unproven resources are estimated at 720 million Sm3 o.e., which represents an increase of 25 million Sm3 o.e. compared with last year's resource accounts.

 

Total petroleum resources in the Norwegian Sea as of 31 December 2019

  Oil
mill. Sm3
Gas
bill. Sm3
NGL
mill. tonnes
Condensate
mill. Sm3
Sum o.e.
mill. Sm3
Produced 622.6 570.4 62.8 36.6 1348.9
Reserves 116.3 318.5 27.4 4.8 491.7
Contingent resources in fields 27.0 56.7 3.6 1.8 92.3
Contingent resources in discoveries 29.4 140.4 7.8 6.2 190.8
Undiscovered resources 295.0 390.0   35.0 720.0
Total 1090.2 1476.1 101.6 84.4 2843.8

 

The Norwegian Sea - changes from 2018

  Change
Oil

mill. Sm3
Change
Gas

bill. Sm3
Change
NGL

mill. tonnes
Change
Condensate

mill. Sm3
Change
Sum o.e.

mill. Sm3
Produced 12.0 39.4 3.5 0.7 58.7
Reserves -1.8 -41.7 -4.5 -0.9 -52.8
Contingent resources in fields -4.7 -1.7 -0.2 -0.1 -6.8
Contingent resources in discoveries 1.6 -7.5 0.2 0.0 -5.6
Undiscovered resources -5.0 35.0 0.0 -5.0 25.0
Total 2.1 23.6 -0.9 -5.4 18.5

Download: Table (excel)



The Barents Sea

The resource accounts for the Barents Sea show that 11 million Sm3 o.e. were sold and delivered from this part of the Norwegian shelf over the past year. At the same time, gross reserves also increased by 7 million Sm3 o.e, before deducting production. This entails a reduction in remaining reserves of 4 million Sm3 o.e. in 2019. At the end of the year, reserves constitute 290 million Sm3 o.e.

The increase in gross reserves was caused by an increase in reserves in the Snøhvit field as the result of an update of the reservoir model.
Both contingent resources in fields and the estimates in discoveries have increased by 3 and 18 million Sm3 o.e., respectively, compared with last year's accounts. As regards discoveries, the increase came from one new discovery, as well as increased resource estimates for 7324/8-1 (Wisting) and 7120/12-2 (Alke Sør).

One new discovery was made in the Barents Sea in 2019. Resource growth totals about 7 million Sm3 o.e.
Unproven resources in the Barents Sea include volumes in the Barents Sea south, south-east and north-east. Unproven resources are estimated at 2505 million Sm3 o.e. in 2019 This is a reduction of 25 million Sm3 o.e. compared with last year's resource accounts.

Total petroleum resources in the Barents Sea as of 31 December 2019

  Oil
mill. Sm3
Gas
bill. Sm3
NGL
mill. tonnes
Condensate
mill. Sm3
Sum o.e.
mill. Sm3
Produced 11.6 61.4 3.0 8.4 87.0
Reserves 109.0 154.7 5.5 15.9 290.0
Contingent resources in fields 5.2 28.7 1.3 0.6 37.0
Contingent resources in discoveries 118.4 38.0 1.3 1.1 160.0
Undiscovered resources 1300.0 1170.0   35.0 2505.0
Total 1544.1 1452.8 11.1 61.0 3079.0

 

The Barents Sea - changes from 2018

  Change
Oil

mill. Sm3
Change
Gas

bill. Sm3
Change
NGL

mill. tonnes
Change
Condensate

mill. Sm3
Change
Sum o.e.

mill. Sm3
Produced 2.3 7.8 0.4 0.0 10.7
Reserves -2.1 -0.9 -0.1 -0.4 -3.5
Contingent resources in fields 0.0 2.1 0.2 0.0 2.6
Contingent resources in discoveries 0.5 16.6 0.2 0.2 17.7
Undiscovered resources 40.0 -60.0 0.0 -5.0 -25.0
Total 40.7 -34.4 0.7 -5.3 2.5

Download: Table (excel)

 

Oil and condensate are quoted in million standard cubic metres (Sm³). NGL is quoted in million tonnes, and gas is quoted in billion standard cubic metres. The conversion factor for NGL in tonnes to Sm³ is 1.9. Total oil equivalents are stated in million Sm³ o.e., 1000 Sm³ gas = 1 Sm³ o.e.

 

 

Contact
Tom Andersen

Tel: +47 51 87 62 75

Updated: 20/02/2020

Contact
Tom Andersen

Tel: +47 51 87 62 75