Norway Raises 2014 Oil Spending Estimate 3.2% After Discoveries

Norway increased its estimate for spending by the oil and gas industry next year by 3.2 percent to a record as new discoveries off the coast of western Europe’s largest energy producer revive interest in exploration.

Spending on the country’s oil and gas industry are forecast to reach 215.1 billion kroner ($35.3 billion) in 2014, up from a June estimate of 208.2 billion kroner, Statistics Norway said on its website today, citing a quarterly survey of companies. Spending is expected to rise 0.7 percent to 212.8 billion kroner in 2013 compared with its previous estimate, the agency said.

Investments in Norwegian oil and gas are forecast to reach a record this year, up 23 percent from 172.5 billion kroner in 2012, fuelled by renewed interest from explorers after companies including Statoil ASA (STL) and Lundin Petroleum AB (LUPE) found the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea, possibly the biggest in four decades, and as new blocks are awarded in the Barents Sea.

Spending is then expected to decline from about 2015 or 2016 because of high costs, capacity constraints and amid forecasts of lower oil prices, DNB ASA, Norway’s biggest bank, said in a report last month.

Norway’s crude production is expected to fall for a 13th consecutive year in 2013 as new reserves fail to compensate for dwindling output from aging fields in the North Sea, according to January forecasts from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mikael Holter in Oslo at mholter2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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