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Norway’s Equinor Announces New Gas Discovery In North Sea


Norwegian energy giant Equinor along with its license partners Source Energy AS and Wellesley Petroleum have announced the discovery of gas and condensate on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Preliminary estimates put the proven reserves at between 3 and 10 million standard cubic meters of recoverable oil equivalent, which corresponds to 19-63 millions barrels.

The West Hercules rig drilled the first exploration well in production licence 878, awarded in the APA 2016 licence round. According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the well will now be permanently plugged. The partners will then consider whether to pursue the discovery as part of an overall assessment of the area.

Great news for the industry

While the government makes long-term plans to diversify the economy, Norway’s oil and gas industry remains strong.

The total export value of crude, condensate and natural gas in 2019 was 424 billion Norwegian kroner, approximately $44 billion. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has previously forecast an increase in production up to 2023.

Despite this, there is no doubt Norway’s oil and gas industry is facing up to an inevitable long-term decline in production, so the new discovery of gas and condensate is sure to provide some joy to the nation’s leadership and the industry as a whole.

“It is encouraging to see that we are able to keep proving more resources in one of the most mature areas on the Norwegian continental shelf. Now we will work on evaluating the potential for profitable and CO2-efficient recovery,” said Equinor’s Nick Ashton in a press release.

The licence owners are Equinor Energy AS (60%), Source Energy (20%) and Wellesley Petroleum AS (20%).

The export of gas from Norway

Nearly all the gas produced from the Norwegian continental shelf is exported. An 8,800 km (5,468 miles) network of subsea pipelines connects Norway’s offshore gas fields and onshore terminals with countries in Europe. Norwegian gas provides between 20 and 25 % of the EU’s total gas demand.

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