Norway upstream: 2015 in review

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Report summary

Activity in the normally buoyant Norwegian sector slumped in 2015 as companies made the transition to the 'lower for longer' oil price environment. While exploration levels continued apace, both investment and M&A deals plummeted. Highlights included strong interest in the 23rd round, work getting underway at Johan Sverdrup and six fields being brought onstream helping production reach its highest level for five years. 

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Norway upstream: 2015 in review

    PDF 1.52 MB

Table of contents

    • Sustained levels of activity despite global cuts to exploration
      • West Barents Sea Basin – exploration cools as Alta appraisal takes centre stage
      • Vøring Basin – disappointing performance following 2014
      • Northern North Sea Basin – lots of wells with little to show
    • Corporate story
    • Huge anticipation for Southeast Barents acreage; interest in mature round cools
      • Majority of investment still on incremental projects
      • Giant Johan Sverdrup development underway
    • Majors dominate, but a host of new players emerge
    • Six fields brought onstream as Lundin delivers Edvard Grieg
    • Project execution remains an issue
    • FIDs put on hold as operators review costs
      • Cost deflation starts to take effect as weak Krone aids savings
        • Production reaches its highest level in five years
        • Liquids production increases for the 2nd consecutive year
        • Record year for gas production
        • Is reduced downtime a direct result of cost cutting?
        • M&A market remains active, despite widened bid-ask spread
        • Slow start as companies struggle to see face to face on value
        • Reducing capital exposure and optimising tax positions the main drivers
        • Innovative deal mechanics help close 'the bid-ask spread'
        • Despite several new entrants, number of companies reduce in 2015
        • Minor fiscal change in 2015

Tables and charts

This report includes 30 images and tables including:


  • Discoveries made in 2015
  • Developments brought onstream in 2015
  • Developments that reached FID in 2015
  • Key deals involving Norwegian assets in 2015


  • Annual success and discovery rates (1966-2015)
  • E&A activity 2005 – 2015
  • Change in exploration activity, 2014 - 2015
  • Change in appraisal activity, 2014 - 2015
  • Operated success rate in 2015
  • Change in drilling activity by company, 2014-2015
  • Acreage and licences awarded in APA rounds
  • Licences and acreage awarded: 1995-2015
  • Historical capital investment
  • Top 10 companies by capital investment 2015
  • Investment by sector
  • Delays and increasing capital costs on selected projects
  • FID delay on selected projects
  • 2015 E&A activity by basin
  • 2015 E&A success by basin
  • Top 10 projects by capital investment 2015
  • Drilling capex vs. wells drilled
  • Oil price vs. FX rate
  • Annual operating costs
  • Total production (2006 – 2015)
  • Top 10 liquids producing fields
  • Top 10 gas producing fields
  • Average monthly liquids production (2010 – 2015)
  • Norwegian commercial reserves traded and valuation* (2005 - 2015)
  • Number of new entrants on the NCS (2005 - 2015)
  • Change in value (US$M) – top 10

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