Norway - Review of 2012

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Report summary

Norway's upstream sector is thriving and in 2012 there were record levels of capital investment, M&A activity and licences awarded for mature acreage. Exploration drilling was down and results were underwhelming. The ramp-up in activity on the shelf over the past couple of years led to upstream players raising concerns about the sector overheating.

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Table of contents

    • An underwhelming year
      • North Sea - technical successes and appraisal drilling
      • Barents Sea - a strong start, but performance dropped off
      • Norwegian Sea - drilling delays hit well numbers
    • Success rates up in frontier areas, but North Sea proves high risk
    • Corporate story - Statoil leads the way, again
    • Record number of awards made in mature round
    • APA 2011 by company
    • APA 2011 by sector
    • East Barents likely to be offered to companies for exploration soon
    • Activity begins at Jan Mayen but opening still way off
    • Global investment comparison
    • Capital investment in 2012 focuses on producing assets
    • Main contributors are long-producing developments
    • Fields onstream in 2012 - a busier year but delays at Skarv Area
    • Development approvals 2012 - plans for challenging fields
    • Two development plans awaiting approval
    • Two potential developments stalled
    • Statoil completed its second major asset disposal
    • The Majors re-shuffled their portfolios
    • In a similar vein to the Statoil swap, a large part of the value traded in 2012 was down to majors trading or divesting assets that they considered to be non-core. A swap deal between Total and ExxonMobil meant that both companies strengthened respective positions in key development areas. Also, ConocoPhillips, BP and ExxonMobil sold out of assets that did not fit with their overall country strategy.
    • Small caps sell to make ends meet
    • An attractive place to grow
    • Exploration set to ramp up
    • This drilling schedule is subject to rig availability and drilling delays, and early signs are that these could again impact activity in 2013.
    • Wells to watch in 2013
    • Licensing expected to reach new record level in 2013
    • Progress expected on key developments, Johan Sverdrup development concept selection
    • M&A activity to remain high

Tables and charts

This report includes 18 images and tables including:


  • Exploration and Appraisal Activity 2003 - 2012
  • Annual success and discovery rates 1966 - 2012
  • E&A wells by operator type 2012-2011
  • Net discovered by company in 2012
  • Licences and acreage awarded 1965-2012
  • Acreage awarded in 2012 by top 10 companies
  • Acreage awarded in 2012 by sector
  • Top 10 countries by capital investment in 2012 (US$bn) *
  • Top 20 projects by capital investment* in Norway 2012 (US$bn)
  • Norwegian commercial reserves traded and valuation* 2003-2012
  • Number of new entrants on the NCS 2003-2012
  • Exploration and development activity in 2012
  • E&A activity by sector in 2012
  • Total discovered reserves by sector in 2012


  • Discoveries made in 2012
  • Fields brought onstream in 2012
  • Development approvals in 2012
  • Key deals involving Norwegian assets in 2012*

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