The ongoing global energy crisis has highlighted the importance of continuing to invest in oil and gas exploration in order to satisfy short- and medium-term demand as the world transitions to a greener energy future.
The role of Norway as a reliable and responsible gas producer has never been more evident and important than now. Ideally, Norway should have even more gas reserves in order to secure energy for Europe and UK.
As an industry, we are now in a critical situation, both due to a lack of investment in exploration over the last ten years, but also due to the high focus on Infrastructure Led Exploration. ILX is meaningful in terms of generating high value and optimizing the use of existing infrastructure in the short term, but the volumes discovered are typically small and unable to sustain current production levels for long.
The Exploration Revived Award is based on the efforts and results delivered over the last two years. All three nominated companies have continued to explore actively in a very difficult period of time, and the award committee wish to acknowledge this commitment.
The nominated companies have continued to drill a significant number of wells over the last two years. They have also added new acreage to their portfolios in the annual APA license rounds. Each of the three nominees has experienced exploration success in different ways.
Wintershall Dea has continued to explore actively through the downturn ad has participated in 16 exploration wells (5 operated) in the last two years. The company has enjoyed considerable exploration success with discoveries in ten wells, most of which are commercial. This has been achieved despite having a relatively small exploration team, focusing on the Norwegian Sea and the Northern North Sea regions. Wintershall Dea operated one of the largest discoveries, Dvalin North, in 2021.
Vår Energi has continued to explore actively and has participated in 15 exploration wells (3 operated) in the last two years. The company has enjoyed considerable exploration success with discoveries in 11 wells, most of which are commercial. The company has demonstrated stamina through their long-term focus on the Barents Sea and also continued to explore in the more mature areas in the NCS. In the Barents Sea they have made discoveries around Johan Castberg and Goliat and more recently proven up a new play with the Lupa discovery testing Havert Fm clinoforms originating from mainland Norway and not from the east. The Lupa discovery was the biggest discovery in 2022.
Equinor plays an important role as a locomotive on the NCS. The company has continued to explore actively, predominantly within ILX, and has participated in 33 exploration wells (23 operated) in the last two years. The company has had mixed exploration success with discoveries in 17 wells. The award committee wish to recognise the success in the Troll-Fram area where seven of eight wells have resulted in valuable discoveries that can be put on stream through existing infrastructure.