OPINION: Norway's oil and gas industry is booming with new production wells and planned development projects.
The rebound follows the Norwegian parliament’s June approval of a generous temporary tax-relief package for projects sanctioned by the end of 2022.
That deadline seems to have become a challenge as all resource owners are speeding ahead to reach it. During a prolonged period of low oil prices, most of the companies have downsized.
Last week, Upstream revealed that Equinor — due to high activity levels on its Aasgard B host platform — has urged Spirit Energy to develop its Fogelberg field in conjunction with the Iris-Hades discovery held by Equinor and Austrian operator OMV.
This week, Upstream has learned that Norwegian authorities are concerned Equinor lacks the capacity to handle all profitable wells and projects offshore Norway.
Equinor has been urged to sell some of its large installations and mature assets.
The company has so far refused, but it could make sense for Equinor to get rid of assets with lower margins as it seeks to expand in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage.
Equinor operates 70% of oil and gas installations on the Norwegian continental shelf.
In countries such as the UK, smaller operators with lower required rates of return have taken over mature fields and created more value from them.
In Norway, Vaar Energi has revitalised fields previously operated by ExxonMobil.
Equinor could do itself and Norway a favour by parting with less profitable assets while allowing others to prioritise their development.
(This is an Upstream opinion article.)