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BMI View: Oil production in Norway may be in decline, but the country retains considerable upside gas potential and should continue to be a major force in European energy supply for decades to come. Discoveries of considerable size are clearly still possible in mature areas, as demonstrated by the giant Johan Sverdrup and surrounding oil finds that continue to be made. This, and fresh prospective acreage offered in the Barents Sea, should stimulate new investment from domestic and foreign operators, slow a decline in oil output and spur on gas production within our 10-year forecast period.
The main trends and developments we highlight in Norway's oil and gas sector are:
- The Norwegian Parliament appears to have already acknowledged the success of the country's first Barents Sea auction. In mid-June 2013, it voted to open additional Arctic acreages further east, close to the Russian maritime border. The blocks will be put on offer during the 23rd licensing round which is due to open in 2013 and run through 2014. The NPD estimated that the region on offer could hold about 285mn barrels (bbl) of oil and as much as 1.62bn barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of natural gas. Large expectations about the below-ground potential of the Barents Sea already piqued the interest of international oil companies (IOCs). A total of 20 blocks were allocated in the 2013 round to a broad range of companies.
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