Oil fairytale continues despite a downturn

ConocoPhilips, Ekofisk oil explorationEkofisk Aerial. Photo: ConocoPhilips

Oil fairytale continues despite a downturn in 2018

Petroleum related news: There was a decrease in both gas and oil sales in 2018, preliminary figures from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate show. Record-breaking production licenses create optimism. Aker Energy has found oil in Ghana and Saudi Arabia cuts production.


Preliminary figures show that 226.7 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalents were sold in 2018. This is four per cent less than in 2017. Gas sales are also somewhat reduced, and some fields have produced less than expected.

On the other hand, a total of 87 production licenses were awarded in 2018, which is a record. In addition, 53 exploration wells were initiated, compared with 36 in 2017. 11 new discoveries were also made, with a preliminary total resource estimate of 82 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalents. That is higher than in all of the three years before.

“The high exploration activity shows that the Norwegian shelf is attractive. That is gratifying! Resource growth at this level is, however,  not enough to maintain production at a high level after 2025. More profitable resources must, therefore, urgently be found,” The Norwegian Oil Director, Bente Nyland, states.

For 2019, the forecast is that it will be investing in excess of NOK 140 billion in petroleum production, excluding exploration, an increase of 13 per cent compared to 2018. Total production of petroleum in 2019 is expected to be 222 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalents.

Aker discovered oil in Ghana

Kjell Inge Røkke’s oil company Aker Energy has discovered oil in Ghana.

The discovery is estimated to have a size of 450-550 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalents. Two wells are to be drilled, and the volume can increase to between 600-1,000 million m3, the company informs in a press statement.

“Aker Energy sees great potential in this promising area outside Ghana,” writes CEO of the company, Jan Arve Haugan.

The field is approximately 166 kilometres southwest of Takoradi in Ghana.

The Norwegian annual production was 226.7 million standard cubic meters of oil equivalents last year by comparison.

An oil equivalent is the amount of energy that is released when one standard cubic metre of crude oil is combusted. Oil equivalents are used by the Norwegian oil industry to indicate a total energy content of all types of petroleum in a deposit or field by totalling equivalent amounts of oil, gas, NGL and condensate.

Saudi Arabia cuts in oil exports

Saudi Arabia cuts its oil exports by 800,000 barrels daily in January, the country’s Minister of Oil announces.

Saudi Arabia’s exports this month are 7.2 million barrels of oil per day, a decline from 8 million in November, according to Khalid al-Falih.

Next month, exports will be cut by another 100,000 barrels of oil per day, he adds.

The oil cartel OPEC and its allies decided last month to cut total oil exports by 1.2 million barrels of oil a day from this month onwards, in an effort to obtain higher oil prices.

At the same time, the Ministry of Petroleum announced revised estimates of the country’s oil reserves. The total reserves are estimated at 263.2 billion barrels of oil at the end of last year, an increase from 261 billion, which is the number the Kingdom has relied on for almost three decades.

Saudi Arabia has, furthermore, a reserve of 2.9 billion barrels of crude oil in a border zone with Kuwait, according to estimates.

Including this, Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves are 266.1 billion barrels, according to the upgraded estimates.

The Ministry states that the figures are supported by an independent third-party certification from the oil consulting company DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M).

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter and the world’s third oil producer after the US and Russia. The country’s oil reserves are still estimated to be the second largest in the world after Venezuela.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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