Statistics Norway said that 2012 investments of $30.2 billion in oil and gas activity were 18 percent higher than the previous year. For 2013, it anticipated investments of $34.8 billion, less than expected.
"The estimate for 2013 is 7 percent higher than the comparable estimate for 2012 and indicates a lower growth in 2013 than in the last year," the bureau said.
Norway is the largest oil producer in Europe and the second-largest exporter of natural gas after Russia. This week, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate revised upward its estimate of the undiscovered oil and natural gas potential in the Jan Mayan area of Barents Sea to 1.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The statistics bureau said it expected most of the investments for 2013 to focus on fields that are already producing oil and natural gas. The estimate was revised downward, however, from $17.9 billion from the previous quarter to $16.8 billion.
In January, the NPD estimated the total recoverable petroleum reserves in Norway at 85 billion barrels of oil equivalent, not including new areas in the Barents Sea.