More than half left

OljedirektoratetPosted on

Greater knowledge and new solutions have increased estimated resources on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). After almost 50 years of offshore production, more than half these assets remain to be recovered. Continued learning and technological advances could boost the estimate even further. These resources represent big value.

  • Increased knowledge and new technology
    boost the resource estimate

  • Resource accounts for 2016


Resource accounts 2016

Total petroleum resources on the NCS were estimated at 14 284 million scm oe at 31 December 2016. The NPD’s resource accounts provide an overview of total expected recoverable petroleum, including amounts yet to be discovered. They build on information reported to the NPD by the operators as well as the directorate’s own data

Large remaining resources

Sold and delivered: 6 863 million scm oe

Reserves: 3 009 million scm oe

Reserves are oil and gas resources sanctioned for development.

Resources in fields and discoveries: 1 542 million scm oe

Resources are oil and gas proven and expected to be recovered, but not sanctioned for Development.

Undiscovered resources: 2 870 million scm oe

Undiscovered resources have not been proven and are not discussed in this report. See the resource report for 2016 for details about them.

Undiscovered resources in Norway’s Barents Sea sector have almost doubled after new mapping in the eastern part of Barents Sea North. The results of this work were published on 25 April 2017, and will first be incorporated in the resource accounts for 2017 due to be published in February 2018.

READ MORE: Full resource accounts for 2016

Possible additions to the resource accounts

Large quantities of petroleum are excluded from the resource accounts because they are either non-commercial or not technically recoverable today. Maturing and adopting technology could also make part of these resources profitable. This is referred to here as the technical potential.


Estimated resources up 40 per cent since 1990

Greater knowledge and new solutions have increased estimated resources on the NCS by 40 per cent since 1990. A number of fields have more than doubled their resources since the first production estimates were made

NPD’s target for resource growth

The NPD has established an ambition for increasing reserves in 2014-23 by 1 200 million scm of oil. This is intended to ensure that attention is focused on expanding reserves while making it possible to follow up developments systematically.

Wide uncertainty range

The amount of oil and gas which can be recovered from the NCS depends on a number of considerations. Geology, reservoir conditions, development of technology and knowledge, costs and raw material prices are important factors affecting recovery. The resource accounts build on current knowledge and Technology.

The uncertainty range in the accounts shows that 44-60 per cent of the resources remain to be produced




The NPD updates the resource accounts annually. Accounts showing figures for the individual fields and discoveries are available from 1990.
Press conference: Bente Nyland, director general of the NPD, presents the annual review for 2016.