Norway oil and gas investments set to soar in 2024, industry says

OSLO, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Oil and gas companies operating in Norway are expected to invest 240 billion Norwegian crowns ($21.85 billion) in 2024, up from 220.5 billion in 2023, and more than previously expected, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Offshore Norway, which published the new forecast based on a survey of its members, had previously predicted 2024 oil and gas investments would amount to 194.3 billion crowns.

The rise was the result of new developments, increased scope of ongoing projects as well as inflation and a weak currency, the group said.

“In Norway there is high pressure in the (offshore drilling) rig market, but internationally the subsea market contributes to rising prices the most,” Marius Andersen, chief economist at Offshore Norge, told Reuters.

In the years after 2024 investments will gradually decline, to 166.5 billion in 2028 as major projects are completed.

Significant oil and gas companies in Norway include Equinor (EQNR.OL), Aker BP (AKRBP.OL), Vaar (VAR.OL), Conocophillips (COP.N) and Shell (SHEL.L).

Norway is western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer, with a total output of just over 4 million barrels of oil equivalents per day (boepd).

While the country aims to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it also continues to explore for and develop new oil and gas fields, including in the Arctic Barents Sea.

Offshore Norway expects spending on exploration and concept studies to increase to 31 billion crowns in 2024, up from 26.2 billion crowns in 2023.

It also expects slightly more than 40 exploration wells to be spudded next year compared to 32 wells so far this year.

($1 = 10.9847 Norwegian crowns)

Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Terje Solsvik

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