Exploration activity was higher last year, with the number of exploration wells increasing dramatically. In addition, 87 new production licences were awarded, which is a new record.
Moreover, a total of 53 exploration wells were reported last year, compared to 36 in 2017. This number will probably remain at the same high level in 2019. Eleven discoveries were made, with an initial resource estimate of 82 million standard cubic metres of recoverable oil equivalents.
What is more, about two-thirds of the undiscovered resources are in the Barents Sea; an area which is considered important for maintaining high production over the longer term.
At the end of 2018, there were 83 producing fields on the Norwegian Shelf. One of these - Aasta Hansteen – came online in 2018. At the same time, the Polarled pipeline started operation to route gas in to the process facility at Nyhamna in Møre og Romsdal county. Aasta Hansteen and Polarled provided new infrastructure in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea, creating new opportunities in this part of the Shelf.
Finally, investments on the Norwegian Shelf in 2018 were at about the same level as the previous year, but many of the developments that are currently being developed, led by Johan Sverdrup and Johan Castberg, will drive growth in 2019.