There are many new and interesting opportunities ahead for the Norwegian oil and gas industry. Read Ulf Rosenberg, Energy Advisors summary on what projects are in the pipeline and the amount of investments needed.
The Norwegian market – the projects and investments
- 19 O&G projects (PDOs) approved in June 2023
- 300 bn NOK in investments (22,2 bn GBP) PDOs in 2022
- 150k+ Several hundred thousands man-years only from Aker BP
The new development projects are as follows, from north to south:
Irpa – Equinor
Norwegian Sea. Investments 14,8 BNOK. Reserves 124 mill. boe.
To be developed with three wells, subsea template on 1350 water depths and a tie-back to the Aasta Hansteen-platform. Irpa will extend the life of Aasta Hansteen field and facilities from 2032 to 2039.
Verdande – Equinor
Norwegian Sea. Investments 4,7 BNOK. Reserves 36 mill. boe.
Two discoveries, Cape Vulture and Alve Nordøst, will be developed with a subsea template tied back to the Norne production vessel.
Skarv satellites – Aker BP
Norwegian Sea. Investments 17 BNOK. Reserves 120 mill. boe. The project contains three separate developments in the Skarv area; gas and condensate discoveries Alve Nord, Idun Nord and Ørn – all in different licences – comprising a 4-slot template and two wells, subsea tied back to the Skarv FPSO, located in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea.
Dvalin Nord – Wintershall Dea
Norwegian Sea. Investments 8 BNOK. Reserves 84 mill. boe. To be developed as a subsea tieback to the Equinor operated Heidrun platform.
Halten Øst – Equinor
Norwegian Sea. Investments 9 BNOK. Reserves 100 mill. boe. The area consists of six gas and condensate discoveries and optional three prospects. Five subsea templates will be tied back to the existing infrastructure on the Åsgard field.
Berling – OMV
Norwegian Sea. Investments 9,1 BNOK. Reserves 45 mill. boe in two separate discoveries on the Halten Terrace. To be developed with 3 wells and a subsea tie-back to the Equinor-operated Åsgard B platform.
Yggdrasil – Aker BP
North Sea. Investment 115 BNOK. 3 new platforms. 55 new wells. Reserves 650 mill. boe.
Power from shore. Facilities remotely operated from operations centre and control room onshore in Stavanger.
Largest currently private industrial investment project in Europe. Generating 65,000 full-time equivalents in the development and operations phases.
Yggdrasil, formerly known as NOAKA, consists of the Hugin, Fulla and Munin licence groups. Area located in the North Sea between Alvheim and Oseberg. The area is home to a number of discoveries and contains a total of around 650 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Tyrving – Aker BP
North Sea. Investments 6 BNOK. Reserves 25 mill. boe. To be developed with three wells and two new subsea installations (manifolds) to be tied back to existing infrastructure on East Kameleon and further on to the Alvheim FPSO.
Symra – Aker BP
North Sea. Subsea tie-back to Ivar Aasen platform. The Troldhaugen project, which was a part of the same development area plan and the picture below, has later been discontinued after further studies and a well test reducing the financial robustness.
Fenris / Valhall PWP – Aker BP
North Sea. Investments 50 BNOK. Reserves 230 mill. boe. plus that the development releases further reserves and upside, totaling 500 mill. boe. A joint project comprising a redevelopment of the Valhall and the new Fenris field. The project, located in the southern part of the North Sea, comprises a new centrally located production and wellhead platform (PWP) bridge-linked to the Valhall central complex with 24 well slots, and an unmanned installation with 8 slots at Fenris (subsea tied back 50km to the PWP. Additionally, the project secures lifetime extension of Valhall beyond 2028 and the continued production of existing Valhall reserves estimated to 137 mill. boe.
In 2022 also further developments and field increased recovery projects were decided:
- Snøhvit Future – Barents Sea – Equinor
- Maria redevelopment, phase 2 – Norwegian Sea – Wintershall Dea
- Eldfisk Nord – North Sea – ConocoPhillips
There are also several previously approved large projects ongoing on NCS:
- Askeladd Vest – Equinor (Barents Sea)
- Johan Castberg – Equinor (Barents Sea)
- Ormen Lange phase 3 – Shell (Norwegian Sea)
- Balder Future – Vår Energi (North Sea)
- Breidablikk – Equinor (North Sea)
- Hod redevelopment – ConocoPhillips (North Sea)
Exciting exploration results
Future oil and gas production is pending exploration activity. Last year 34 exploration wells were spudded, leading to 12 discoveries. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate expect a similar number of wells in 2023, but the longterm trend is decreasing and somewhat concerning.
Offshore wind development:
Two areas approved for wind development
- Utsira Nord: Floating fundaments
- Sørlige Nordsjø: 2 Bottom-fixed fundaments
- 15-20 consortia interested and in application process
- Extended deadline – allocation expected early 2024.
Norwegian authorities have currently the first areas approved for offshore wind development;
Between 15 and 20 consortia are now writing their applications for the two areas. “All” larger energy companies are involved in the race as members of different consortiums, while a high number of suppliers companies have entered in to LOIs or MOUs with different consortia with the plan to deliver technology and capacity for future developments.
Oil companies like Equinor, Total and Shell are taking part in different consortia. Power/utility companies like Hafslund, Å Energi, Lyse, Eviny, Statkraft, Vatenfall and Haugaland Kraft from Norway and international players as RWE and EnBW are all directly or indirectly competing. Well established Norwegian companies as Aker, NorSea, Norgesgruppen, Technip FMC, Fred. Olsen, Havfram and Knutsen OAS Shipping are involved. Among the international offshore wind giants are Ørsted, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Parkwind, Iberdrola and Corio, Source Galileo.
The application deadline is 1 November 2023.
For Sørlige Nordsjø II the process has two steps. Firstly is a competative prequalification process where minimum 6 and maximum 8 participants are selected based on how they score (from 1-10) on a set of qualitative criteria in order to assess the quality and capacity of the players, including sustainability and local ripple effects. Second step will be a monetary auction for a two-sided contract for difference (“CfD”).
For Utsira Nord, three project areas will be awarded after a competitive process based on qualitative criteria (cost level 2030, innovation and technology development, execution capabilities, sustainability and positive local ripple effects). The projects awarded area rights will later be invited to compete for state support.
The government’s goal is to have 30 GW capacity awarded by 2040. 30 GW equals to the Norwegian annual hydro power production and will, pending size and technology, mean 1500-2000 wind turbines.
CO2 storage licenses
The Norwegian government has four times awarded acreage for CO2 storage pursuant to the CO2 Storage Regulations. Seven licenses are awarded.
“The establishment of commercial capture and storage of CO2 is important for the world to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. The award of these two new licenses contributes Norway to play an important role when it comes to establishing commercial, large-scale CO2 storage for European emission sources”, said Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland while the last licenses were awarded in March 2023.
The Norwegian government states the intent to facilitating socio-economically profitable storage of CO2 on the Norwegian continental shelf. Companies that have the necessary expertise and that have specific, industrial plans that entail a need for storage on a commercial basis can apply to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for a license adapted to the needs of the business.
The operators for the six active licenses are Northern Lights, Equinor, Wintershall Dea, Sval and Aker BP.
On the Norwegian continental shelf there has been discovered large potential for sulfides and manganese crusts containing metals and minerals that are crucial for the technology that surrounds us today – such as batteries, wind turbines, PCs and mobile phones.
The Government has decided to initiate an opening process for mineral activities on the Norwegian continental shelf. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has been tasked by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) to map the most commercially interesting mineral deposits on the Norwegian continental shelf. The Act relating to mineral activities on the Norwegian continental shelf – the Seabed Minerals Act – entered into force on 1 July 2019.
An impact assessment report was submitted last year with a hearing process ended in January 2023. Before summer the ministry issued a white paper regarding the next steps for the opening process which will be discussed in the Parliament during this autumn.