Norway ranks as the world’s third largest oil exporter and the seventh largest oil producer. In 2003, Norway was the world’s third largest gas exporter and the eighth largest gas producer.
With the Ekofisk discovery in 1969, the Norwegian oil adventure began to earnest. Production from the field began on 9 June 1971, and in the following years a number of major discoveries were made. Today, there are 48 fields in production on the Norwegian Continental Shelfs. Production from these fields corresponds to around 20 times the domestic consumption of petroleum and has established Norway as a key supplier to the global oil market and the European gas market. In connection with the development of the Snøhvit field, for the first time agreements have been signed for the sale of gas to markets outside Europe.
Petroleum activities have contributed significantly to economic growth in Norway and to the financing of the Norwegian welfare state. Through more than 30 years of operation, the industry has created values in excess of NOK 4,000 billion in current terms; it is today Norway’s largest industry. In 2004, the petroleum sector accounted for 21 percent of the value creation in the country. This equates to twice the value creation of the manufacturing industry and around 15 times the total value creation of the primary industries. Through direct and indirect taxes and direct ownership, the state is ensured a high proportion of the values created from the petroleum activities. activities. In 2004, the state’s net cash flow from the petroleum sector amounted to 28 percent of total revenues. After more than 30 years of production, the business has generated net revenues to the state in the order of NOK 2,000 billion in current terms.
Aker Kvaerner ASA, Norsk Hydro ASA, Norwegian Oil Industry Association, Orkla ASA, Petroleum Geo-Services, Statoil, TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA