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Published on January 21st, 2018 | by James Ayre

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Norway Aiming For Oil & Gas Output To Reach Record Highs By ~2022

January 21st, 2018 by  


Now that oil prices has begun to rise again, Norway’s oil and gas development and output will as well — with output perhaps eclipsing the earlier high of 2004 by as soon as 2022, according to a new report from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).

To word that differently, Norwegian oil and gas investment is expected to begin climbing again in 2018, after 4 years of decreases.

Contrary to the situation in 2004, though, oil and gas investments this go around will be roughly equal, rather than slanted towards oil.

“This is very good news, because everybody is talking about a phasing out of the Norwegian petroleum activity and, at least in the next 10 years, we don’t see that,” explained NPD Director General Bente Nyland in an interview with Reuters.

Yes, very good news indeed — keep the oil flowing, while talking enthusiastically about the “green” future. That seems to be the path that Norway is now following.

From the perspective of “keeping up appearances,” the strategy does seem to have merit. From the perspective of limiting the intensity of the anthropogenic climate warming and weirding that’s now arriving, though, such a strategy is of course a dead end.

Reuters provides more: “For production to be maintained at high levels beyond 2025, more profitable resources must be proven, including in major discoveries, she said, adding that this would require an increase in exploration in both mature and frontier areas.

“Output from Norway fell between 2004 and 2013 as older fields were gradually depleted and few new resources were available. Major finds have since been made, including the Johan Sverdrup field, the largest North Sea discovery in decades which will begin to produce in 2019 and be fully developed in 2022.

“Norway’s combined output of oil and gas is expected to hit 4.4 million barrels per day of oil equivalents in 2022, the NPD said, a rise of 10% from the forecast 4 million barrels per day of oil equivalents seen for 2018. Investments, excluding exploration cost, were expected to rise marginally in 2018 to 122 billion Norwegian crowns ($15.13 billion) and to about 140 billion crowns in each of the years 2019 and 2020, the NPD said.”

So, the “good news” I guess is that Norway will be able to maintain the currently extravagant lifestyle expectations of its population for longer than expected … by continuing to sell fossil crack cocaine to the rest of the world.

I’m aware that some Norwegians (and those in neighboring countries) bristle at the idea that average lifestyles there are extravagant … but, well, yes, they certainly are by global standards. Going on holidays to the other side of the world every year is extravagant, eating food that’s locally been long out of season is extravagant, buying new consumer items (cars, electronics, clothing) every year is extravagant, eating meat at every meal is extravagant…

It’s exactly those sorts of luxuries that have to be backed away from if anthropogenic climate change is to be limited to any serious degree — regardless of solar panels or electric vehicles. And the thing about Norway on that count is that you would only have to go back 2–3 generations to find people who were living some of the least extravagant lifestyles in the world. It’s funny what oil money will do to you (Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, I’m also looking at you).


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.



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