In the revised 2009 national budget, the value of remaining petroleum reserves on the Norwegian continental shelf is estimated at NOK 5,100 billion. Scarcely 40 per cent of Norway’s estimated petroleum reserves have been extracted to date.
There is a very high level of activity on the Norwegian continental shelf. In 2008, 242 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalents were produced. This equals the annual consumption of more than 100 million Norwegian households.
Oil and gas production is conducted in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.
World leader in technology and expertise
After almost 40 years of oil and gas production in seas that are home to some of the world’s worst weather, Norway has acquired the knowledge and expertise needed to extract petroleum resources safely and efficiently. Building up Norwegian expertise in the field has been an important element in Norway’s petroleum policy. To begin with, Norway primarily drew on the knowledge of foreign companies, but today its petroleum industry is well-developed and internationally competitive. This applies not only to oil companies, but also to the supplier industry and research institutions.
Norwegian technology is internationally renowned, and major Norwegian suppliers of subsea technology enjoy a leading position in the global market. In 2007 the Norwegian supplier industry had a turnover of NOK 195 billion, half of which was generated in international markets.
The oil and gas industry also boosts innovation and technological development in other Norwegian industry sectors.
Sizeable supplier industry
A number of companies have specialised in deliveries to the petroleum sector, and a large, expertise-intensive, technologically-advanced supplier industry has emerged. Other types of companies supply specialised services for transport, seismic exploration, engineering solutions, testing and analysis, security, and maintenance.
The environment and the High North
Norway is to be a world leader in both the technological and environmental fields, and views it as important to ensure that the petroleum industry does not come into conflict with environmental considerations. The effort to implement capture and storage of CO2 (CCS) is an important step forward in this respect.
The authorities are pursuing a proactive High North strategy, with the aims of strengthening cooperation across national borders and helping to increase the transfer of expertise between countries. A focused, long-term effort in the High North will also have positive effects on remote areas.