Industry Trend Analysis - Exploration To Rebound In 2018 - FEB 2018

BMI View: Despite disappoint ing exploration results in 2017 and the low number of companies applying for licenses in the 24th round, exploration drilling in Norway will increase in 2018.

Norway had a disappointing 2017 for exploration success with some high profile prospects failing to deliver commercial discoveries. Of the 26 exploration wells drilled in Norway through the end of November, only eight proved oil and gas and all were fairly minor discoveries that would be non-commercial in a standalone development. There were hopes for a major discovery in the Barents Sea, particularly from Statoil's five-well drilling programme, which was targeting in excess of 250mn boe at each well, but only the Kayak well (25-50mn boe) discovered potentially commercial volumes.

The result of this appears to have dampened investor interest in Norway's 24th licensing round, which only saw 11 companies apply for production licenses. Of the 102 blocks or partial blocks to be offered in the round, 93 are in the Barents Sea, which while it remains Norway's most prospective region, has failed to live up to high expectations. Part of the reduced interest in the 24th round is likely down to no new acreage being opened, garnering little additional interest from potential new bidders to the area. However, this was also the case for the 23rd licensing round, which saw 26 different companies apply for licenses.

Dwindling Interest In Norway
Number Of Companies Submitting Applications
Source: NPD

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