Norway 'could have more oil than thought'

Norway: analyst urges low taxes to tap as much oil in country as possible

Norway could have a lot more undiscovered oil and gas than the country’s authorities estimate, according to industry analyst Philip Lambert.

The Norwegian continental shelf probably holds about 30 billion barrels of oil and gas yet to be found, the chief executive of UK-based Lambert Energy said at the ONS Conference in Stavanger.

Norway’s Petroleum Directorate has put undiscovered resources at about 19 billion barrels.

Much of Norway’s current development boom is thanks to increassed exploration and an influx of companies that has followed Norway’s introduction of a favourable tax-credit system for exploration introduced at the start of this century.

“If the government changes the exploration tax, much of those 30 billion barrels will be left in the ground. Please do not change it,” Lambert urged in his speech at ONS.

Lambert also called for greater co-operation between the North Sea nations to harmonise regulatory requirements for drilling rigs and other offshore operations. Norway and the UK should lead the way, and encourage Denmark and the Netherlands to follow, he said.

“Standardising on a regional basis would be a great way of saving costs,” Lambert said. “I think it is perfectly possible. Everyone in the UK and Norway have an interest in costs coming down – it means more renevue.”

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