Norway’s oil and gas resources counted

The Norwegian shelf still holds 85.2 billion barrels of oil, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reports.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s resource accounts, which are updated as of 31 December 2013, show that the total recoverable petroleum resources on the Norwegian shelf are estimated at 14.2 billion standard cubic meters (Sm3) of oil equivalents (o.e.).


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 in 2013 was 102 million Sm3 o.e., compared with 344 million Sm3 o.e. the year before. 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 2005, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate set an oil reserve growth target of 800 million Sm3 by 2015. 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 reach this target.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate believes there are 14.2 billion standard cubic meters of oil equivalents to be found on the Norwegian shelf. This equals 85.2 billion barrels of oil, the report from the NPD reads.