Norwegian oil companies spending on exploration to see 37 % increase on 1999

Dec 06, 1999 01:00 AM

Norwegian oil companies estimate that NOK 7.1 bn will be spent on exploration this year - a 37 % increase on 1999 budgets. "Since the third quarter, the exploration estimates have increased by NOK 3.4 bn. This is a drastic increase, but we have no reason to doubt the new figures", Nils Anders Nordlien said.
Nordlien is responsible of collecting the quarterly figures from the oil companies on behalf of the Norwegian Directorate of Statistics. "It is evident that the increase in crude prices has led to significantly more ambitious exploration budgets than previously expected", he said.
For 1999, the exploration bill is expected to show NOK 5.2 bn, the lowest figure since 1995. However, Nordlien expects that the final sum for exploration may well end up higher than the 7.1 bn mark.
"Several of the companies are evaluating a drilling campaign in the Barents Sea. Should this take place this year, the drilling expenses will increase by at least 2 bn. At the moment it is unclear whether this drilling activity will take place this year or in 2001", Nordlien said.
Total investments, including pipelines, for 2000 is estimated at NOK 48.5 bn, 16 bn less than the estimate for 1999.

Source: IINX via Iinoil
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