Norwegian offshore industry eyes recovery

Dec 14, 2004 01:00 AM

As many as 2,000 offshore workers, laid off when oil exploration went into a slump, will likely be offered new contracts next year.
Oil companies, not least Norway's Statoil, are planning major drilling projects. Statoil confirmed that it will take part in up to 20 oil and gas exploration wells off the Norwegian coast next year. That's up from participation in just eight wells this year. The state-controlled oil company said its budget for oil exploration has nearly doubled, to NOK 1.8 bn, or nearly $ 300 mm.

Drilling is expected to take place in both the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea in the far north. Oil exploration in the Barents is controversial, with environmentalists worried about the effects on the Arctic and climate changes, but Statoil said three of its wells are due to be drilled there.
Seven to nine wells will be drilled in the Norwegian Sea and up to eleven wells will be drilled in the North Sea, where most oil operations are located at present.

Source: Aftenposten Norway
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