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Firms Hike Spending on Oil and Gas Activity Offshore Norway in 2024

Total investments in oil and gas activity offshore Norway, including pipeline transportation, are estimated to hit $23 billion (244 billion Norwegian crowns) this year, up by 5% compared to last quarter’s assessment, Statistics Norway said on Thursday.

The latest forecast for 2024 for the sectors oil and gas, manufacturing, mining and quarrying, and electricity supply now suggests investments in these sectors combined would jump by around 30% this year compared to 2023.  

Last year, total investments in oil and gas extraction and pipeline transport in Norway stood at $20.3 billion (215 billion crowns), up by 22% compared to 2022.  

“The reason for the large investments in oil and gas industry is mainly due to a strong increase in investments in field development, with an increase of 52 percent in 2023 compared to 2022,” said Ståle Mæland, senior advisor at Statistics Norway.

Investments in 2025 are also expected to be high, “mainly due to higher estimates in fields on stream,” the statistics office said.

Oil and gas companies plan to boost exploration activity and spending offshore Norway this year as Western Europe’s top oil and gas producer looks to maintain production and raise exports to the rest of Europe.

Currently, most exploration efforts are focused on areas around existing infrastructure so discoveries can be tied back quickly and create value while the fields are still in operation, the Norwegian Offshore Directorate said in its annual report last month.

While this is important for maintaining production levels in the near and medium term, the directorate said it “would like to see companies exploring actively in more frontier areas.”

The robust exploration and production activity of the past year is set to continue into 2024, it noted in the report.

This year, exploration activity will pick up, with 40 to 50 exploration wells planned by operators, up from 34 exploration wells spudded last year, according to the authority.  

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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