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Norway expects slump in oil, gas investments

Total investments in nation's energy sector already down 10 percent from last year.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Norway expects slump in oil, gas investments
Norwegian government is forecasting a decline in overall investments in the energy sector, though some bright spots are apparent in the margins. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo

OSLO, Norway, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The Norwegian government said that, after falling more than 10 percent, investments in the energy sector next year should see another steep decline.

The Norwegian government's statistics office said total investments in oil and gas extraction and pipeline transport for the year are estimated to reach just under $20 billion, a 1.5 percent decline from the previous full-year estimate. The government attributed the decline to the reclassification of some fields that moved from development to production this year.

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Norway is among the leading oil and natural gas exporters to a European economy looking to lessen its dependence on Russian natural gas reserves. Preliminary production figures for July show oil, natural gas liquid and condensate on the rise because fields in production were contributing more to overall volumes than initially expected.

Statistics Norway said it expects total investments in oil, gas, mining and other parts of the electricity supply will reach $26 billion, a figure that's 12.3 percent lower than last year.

"The decline is mainly due to a significant fall of 17.5 percent within oil and gas," the government's report read. "The decrease is, however, partly offset by higher investments in electricity supply and manufacturing."

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The government has remained upbeat on the prospects for oil and gas activity despite the downturn for the market. Oslo estimates there are roughly 18 billion barrels of oil equivalent yet to be discovered in Norwegian waters. Half of that is in the Barents Sea, with the rest distributed in the North and Norwegian seas.

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