Barents Sea Boosts Norwegian Shelf Reserves

By MarEx 2014-03-03 18:36:00

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate estimates that the total recoverable petroleum resources of the Norwegian continental shelf are 14.2 billion standard cubic metres (Sm3) of oil equivalents (o.e.) as at the end of 2013.

Total recoverable petroleum resources have increased by 586 million Sm3 o.e. since 2012. This is mainly due to an increase in the volume of undiscovered resources, which now include the southeastern Barents Sea and the shelf around Jan Mayen. Together, they account for 60 per cent of the increase. There have also been increased reserves on fields, upward revision of resource estimates in discoveries, and the addition of new discoveries.

Reserve growth was 102 million Sm3 o.e., compared with 344 million Sm3 o.e. the previous year. The reason for the low growth rate is that development decisions have been made only for four minor discoveries. Reserve growth from producing fields is the main contributor to the increase in reserves. The greatest increase is in gas reserves, where the Snøhvit field is the largest contributor. The Snorre, Grane and Troll fields have shown the greatest increase in oil reserves. In 2013, 215 million Sm3 o. e. were sold and delivered, thus reducing net reserves by 113 million Sm3 o.e. 

In 2005, the NPD set an oil reserve growth target of 800 million Sm3 by 2015. Oil reserves increased last year by 29 million Sm3. In comparison, 85 million Sm3 of oil were sold in 2013. Two million Sm3 of the 2013 growth comes from discoveries the licensees have decided to develop, and 27 million Sm3 comes from fields. Nine years after the NPD set this target, the accumulated reserve growth totals 636 million Sm3. This is 80 per cent of the authorities' objective, and shows that it may be difficult to achieve a resource growth of 800 million Sm3 of oil by 2015.

The Jette, Hyme, Skarv and Skuld fields came on stream in 2013, while the Glitne and Yttergryta fields were shut down. Fourteen fields were being developed at year-end. According to current plans, the Brynhild, Bøyla, Fram H-Nord, Goliat, Gudrun, Knarr, Svalin and Valemon fields will come on stream in 2014.

The graph shows the distribution of the total resources. The resource estimates are uncertain, as illustrated in the figure. The total remaining recoverable resources are estimated at 8 billion Sm3 o.e., with a range of uncertainty (P10 – P90) of between 5.6 and 11 billion Sm3 o.e.