Norway’s Resource Accounts for 2021: Increase in proven resources and good growth in reserves

Source: press release, 22 February 2022

Petroleum resources and uncertainty in the estimates as per 31 December 2021
Petroleum resources and uncertainty in the estimates as per 31 December 2021 (illustration: NPD)

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has presented the Resource Accounts for the Norwegian continental shelf 2021. The Accounts show that more oil and gas was proven than in the previous year, and that nearly two-thirds of these reserves were gas.

The proven resources showed an overall increase of 142 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalent (Sm3 o.e.) last year, which corresponds to nearly 900 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The reserve growth, in other words, how much of the resources have a positive development decision, was also good – particularly for gas. The increase was 165 million Sm3 o.e. compared with the 2020 Accounts.

The most important reason for the increase is that more development plans (PDOs) were submitted in 2021. Reserves in fields also increased, in part due to expectations for extended operating periods on several fields.

The total estimate for undiscovered oil and gas resources is practically unchanged, but new information has resulted in changes as regards the distribution of the undiscovered resources. Liquid resources in the Norwegian Sea have increased, while both gas and liquid resources in the Barents Sea South are reduced.

The NPD’s Resource Accounts provide an overview of the expected total recoverable petroleum resources, including undiscovered resources. The Resource Accounts, which are updated annually, are based on data that is reported to the NPD by the operating companies as well as our own data.