Norway Sees Stable Gas Output
Norwegian gas exports will be sustained at the current level of about 120bn m3 for the next few years and likely beyond, according to the director general of the ministry of petroleum and energy, Lars Erik Aamot.
He told the LNGgc conference in London October 10 that Norway had only produced one third of its gas reserves and had as much exploration potential as it had 30 years ago, allowing it to pursue an active exploration policy.
Aamot said that 33 companies had participated in this year's annual licensing round, the results of which will be announced in January. Both the high number of companies involved and the large number of overall applications were an indication of the continued competitiveness of gas production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), he said. The 2019 annual licensing round covered mature areas of the NCS, but a round for less mature areas will be held next year.
Current export volumes will be sustained by the start-up in December 2018 of the Aasta Hansteen field, which will produce 8bn m3 a year at plateau production. The field is north of the Arctic Circle in a water depth of 1,270 metres, the first field developed on the NCS in such deep water. The 480-km pipeline connecting Aasta Hanseen to gas processing facilities has excess capacity. The development opens up a new area of the northern Norwegian Sea for exploration and development, which will be key to sustaining future export volumes, Aamot said.
In addition to new fields in the northern Norwegian Sea, the third phase of development on the giant Troll oil and gas field has been approved, Aamot said. This is expected to extend Troll's plateau production by seven years and the productive life of the field by 17 years. Half of the gas in Troll has yet to be produced, Aamot said.