Norway’s natural gas output up 1.8% in 2012; forecast down in 2013
Norwegian natural gas achieved record sales in 2012 and is expected to represent more than half of petroleum sales from the shelf over the next five years, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Friday.
While oil production declined more than expected, gas exports were up 1.8% to 114.8 billion cubic metres (Gm³) in 2012. The increase in gas production contributed to a 2% year-on-year increase in total petroleum production over 2012.
But market uncertainty is expected to affect gas sales into 2013, and NPD expects output to decline by 7.2% to 106.5Gm³ as a result. Although production after 2013 is forecast to rise gradually, it will still be 3% below 2012's level at 111.2Gm³ by 2017.
Increased estimates and new discoveries, however, are expected to boost exploration potential at the Norwegian shelf.
Thirteen new discoveries were made last year: five in the North Sea, five in the Norwegian Sea and three in the Barents Sea.
A total of 41 exploration wells were completed. Discoveries include a gas find by Statoil in the Ekofisk area in the southern North Sea. Three other discoveries were made by Wintershall, RWE and BP. Statoil made a further discovery in the Barents Sea, near the Skrugard discovery.
Currently, 16 field developments are underway on the Norwegian shelf. Companies have indicated plans to submit another 20 Plans for Development and Operation (PDOs) in the upcoming two years.
Among them is a plan for a pipe from the Aasta Hansteen field to transport the gas to Nyhamna. Construction is expected to be sufficient to accommodate gas from other developments in the area. The Plan for Installation and Operation (PIO) of this pipeline, called Polarled, was also submitted in early January this year,ESGM 08 January 2013.
Investment, which excludes exploration, is expected to total approximately Norwegian kroner (NKr) 157bn (€21.4bn) in 2013 and is forecast to rise to about NKr190bn by 2017.
Norway is the world's second-largest exporter of natural gas. KA
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