"[This year] is expected to be a key year for the Norwegian upstream sector," Malcolm Dickson, a Norwegian energy analyst for Wood Mackenzie, said in a statement Tuesday. "Capital investment levels will remain high and we estimate close to $30 billion will be spent across the sector this year."
The upstream sector refers to exploration and development. Dickson said the $28.6 billion invested in the Norwegian upstream energy sector last year was a 30 percent increase from the previous year.
The first tax in 20 years imposed on the industry last year took energy companies by surprise, the group said. While last year's drilling activity reached record levels for Norway, Dickson said wells that led to the discovery of natural reserves were down 30 percent compared with 2012 levels.
Dickson said 2014 should bring major developments for the Norwegian energy sector, notably with the development of the giant Johan Sverdrup field.
"The impact of the 2013 petroleum tax on marginal projects will also become clearer, with a full list of developments that qualify for transition terms expected from the Norwegian government this year," he said.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation's energy regulator, said 1.5 million barrels of oil were produced per day on average in November, a 7 percent increase year-on-year.