Arctic exploration will reverse decline in Norwegian oil production, says ONS poll
A poll conducted at the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) conference in Stavanger has revealed that industry professionals see Arctic exploration as a viable solution to Norway’s declining oil production rates.
74 per cent of participants said that the development of sizeable reserves in Arctic waters offshore Norway could reverse the country’s diminishing North Sea production rates by 2030. By contrast, only 26 per cent of participants felt Norway would not be able to abate the decline through Arctic exploration.
The Industry Snapshot Poll was conducted on the first day of ONS by global independent technical advisor, GL Noble Denton. Senior professionals from across the industry also took part in the poll online.
Norway’s Oil Ministry announced in June that the country plans to dramatically increase activity within its Arctic waters. Its licensing round for frontier areas will include 86 blocks, of which 72 are in the Arctic Barents Sea and just 14 are in the Norwegian Sea. A separate licensing round for mature areas will include 48 blocks or partial blocks, with 33 in the Barents Sea, 12 in the Norwegian Sea and just two in the North Sea. This represents a major shift for the sector as in last year’s round only four licences were issued for the Arctic Barents Sea but 34 in the North Sea.
Tore Lea, GL Noble Denton’s Managing Director for Norway, said: “The remote Arctic region is becoming more attractive to the industry as a whole. This could provide Norway with an opportunity to increase its production at a time when oil output continues to fall sharply but demand for energy is rising.
“The result of the poll suggests there is clear industry support for Arctic exploration in Norwegian waters, and confidence in the country’s ability to develop the infrastructure needed to produce oil in such a challenging environment.
“Current estimates suggest the Barents Sea region could produce somewhere between 400,000 to 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020, further underlining its importance to the country in reversing the decline in production.”
This is the first of three Industry Snapshot Polls being conducted by GL Noble Denton this week. Delegates will also be asked whether Norway has enough skilled professionals to develop the large reserves recently discovered in the North Sea and whether they support the Norwegian and UK governments’ opposition to a single set of European safety regulations.