Since production started on the Norwegian continental shelf in 1971, oil and gas have been produced from a total of 120 fields. At the end of 2022, 93 fields were in production: 70 in the North Sea, 21 in the Norwegian Sea and two in the Barents Sea. Overall production from these fields in 2022 was 232 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalents (Sm3 o.e.), about 12 per cent lower than in the peak year of 2004, but slightly higher than in 2021.
For the next few years, total production on the Norwegian shelf is expected to increase somewhat, as the decline in production from aging fields is expected to be lower than the production from new fields that come on stream.
It is expected that the ratio between produced gas and liquids (marketable oil, NGL and condensate) will decrease slightly in the next few years. While mostly oil was produced in the record year 2004, gas will account for almost half of the total production in 2025. In the long term, the number and size of new discoveries will be of crucial importance to the production level.
Historical and expected production in Norway, 1970-2026
Source: Norwegian Petroleum Directorate
At the end of 2022, 93 fields on the Norwegian shelf were in production. Several of the large, aging fields still have substantial remaining reserves. Moreover, the resource base for existing facilities increases when small, neighbouring discoveries are tied-in to the existing infrastructure. The activity level on producing fields will remain high in the years ahead. These fields will account for the bulk of production in the coming years.
It is also possible to increase recovery from many of these fields beyond existing plans. About 150 projects are currently being assessed to improve recovery from existing fields. It is important for the licensees to find profitable ways of improving recovery and making operations more efficient on existing fields. In addition, existing and new commercially viable discoveries need to be tied-in to existing infrastructure to utilise the production and transport capacity in mature areas in the years ahead.
See resource management in mature areas for more detailed information.
Production history and forecast distributed per resource category, 2018-2032
Historic value 2022 is a preliminary estimate
Source: Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (Gas is normalized at 40 MJ)
A large number of fields are in production and several new fields will come into production during the next few years. Therefore, it is expected that production will increase during the next few years and remain relatively high in the next decade.
See article about production forecasts for more detailed information.
One new field came on stream in 2022: Nova in the North Sea. In December 2022, production from Njord started again after upgrading of the field facilities. Johan Sverdrup phase 2 was also put into production. At the year-end, 15 field developments have been ongoing: ten in the North Sea, four in the Norwegian Sea and one in Barents Sea. Of these, five are new field developments, while ten are changes to existing fields (among other things related to increased recovery, changes in power supply or development of additional resources to existing fields).
In addition, there were about 78 discoveries that are being, or could be, considered for development at year-end. Most of them are small and will be developed as satellites to existing fields. Stand-alone developments are planned for the largest discoveries, but several smaller discoveries could build new infrastructure through collaborated development solutions.
In 2022, the authorities approved a plan for the development and operation of the Tommeliten A field in the North Sea. Plans were also approved for the development and operation of Kristin South (included in the Kristin field), Kobra East and Gekko (included in the Alvheim field), Frosk (included in the Bøyla field) and Eldfisk North (included in the Eldfisk field), as well as amended plans for the development and operation of Ormen Lange, Oseberg and Gina Krog.
The table below shows the estimated reserves in fields under development. Please note that the table is continuously updated.
Reserves in fields under development
All volumes in million Sm3 o.e.
Source: The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate
The interactive map below shows development projects with an approved plan for development and operation (PDO)/plan for installation and operation (PIO) and an amended PDO/PIO. Investments are estimates from the PDO in 2022 NOK. Note that the map is not updated continuously and the geographical location on this map is inaccurate.