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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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Norway’s Energy Minister Sees Strong Long-Term Demand For Oil

Norway is at the forefront of Europe’s green energy shift, but it is also its biggest crude oil producer. The country has so far juggled successfully with the two opposing concepts of emission-reduction and oil production, and according to its energy minister, it will continue to do so in the decades to come, despite forecasts about impending peak oil demand.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Terje Soviknes said that despite the renewables revolution, it still made sense—financially and morally—to explore for more oil. “I’m not that concerned with when exactly we get peak demand, whether that’s in 2030, ’35, ’40 -- or earlier for that matter. What’s most important is that there’s high demand, and that’s going to be there for decades to come. We must position the Norwegian shelf for that,” he said.

The official acknowledged OPEC’s progress in helping oil’s fundamentals move closer to balance, and said that for Norway, the most immediate threat was the lack of any significant new discoveries to ensure stable oil supply for the near term. In this context, the long-term trends in oil and fuel demand must take a back seat.

State-owned energy major Statoil has been on the hunt for new discoveries for a while now as oil prices rebounded from their trough last year, but it has reported disappointing results at home – its Arctic drilling campaign this year produced no meaningful results and the company said it will be back next summer to drill more.

At the same time, there are large oilfields slated to start pumping crude in the next few years. Johan Sverdrup, which is estimated to hold between 1.9 billion and 3 billion barrels of oil equivalents, is scheduled to start production in 2019. Johan Castberg, with proven reserves of some 400-600 million barrels, should start production in 2022.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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