Norway expects sharp rise in oil and gas investments in 2003

Sep 30, 2002 02:00 AM

Norway's centre-right government is anticipating a sharp rise in oil and gas investments next year to nearly NOK 70 bn ($ 9.35 bn), Norway's biggest employers group said. Knut Aaneland, executive manager of the petroleum branch of the Federation of Norwegian Manufacturing Industries (TBL), said the government would reveal the forecast in its 2003 budget proposal.
"The Finance Ministry will base its budget for next year on predictions of oil investments of 70 bn crowns," Aaneland said. "That is good news for the industry," he told.

Next year's forecast is about 10 bn crowns higher than the government's estimates for 2002 in a revised budget earlier this year, and in line with predictions of higher oil investments by the central bank and Statistics Norway.
"In order to see higher investment levels, exploration on the Norwegian shelf needs to be maintained and strengthened," Aaneland said. "More interesting blocks must be made available for exploration."

Oslo's last offshore licensing round, the 17th, showed fading interest by international oil majors in the Norwegian continental shelf, following a string of disappointing finds and limited access to new exploration areas.

Source: Aftenposten
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