Expenditure within the European offshore drilling market has been forecast to increase at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 6.9% over the next three years, increasing from a value of $10.6 billion in 2013, to hit $12.8 billion in 2016.
It is expected that fresh offshore development projects in the Europeane offshore drilling market commencing in the next one to two years in Norway will stabilize hydrocarbon production by late 2013 or early 2014. Hydrocarbon production will then remain steady through to 2017.
According to a recent report, 'Offshore Drilling Industry in Europe to 2016,' in terms of exploration activity, there were 13 new discoveries offshore Norway in 2012, possessing together about 132 Mmcmoe (million cubic meters of oil equivalent) of fresh hydrocarbon reserves.
Offshore drilling refers to a mechanical process where a wellbore is drilled through the seabed. It is typically carried out in order to explore for and subsequently extract petroleum which lies in rock formations beneath the seabed.
Most commonly, the term is used to describe drilling activities on the continental shelf, though the term can also be applied to drilling in lakes, inshore waters and inland seas.
Offshore oil production involves environmental risks, most notably oil spills from oil tankers or pipelines transporting oil from the platform to onshore facilities, and from leaks and accidents on the platform. Produced water is also generated, which is excess water from oil or gas production and includes varying amounts of oil, or other chemicals used in, or resulting from, oil production.
The economies of both Norway and the UK have benefited from successful explorations by Statoil. Statoil has submitted plans for four new major projects, with an estimated capital expenditure of $23 billion.
There have been considerable offshore developments in Norway in the recent past. In the North Sea, Statoil plans to produce 225 million barrels of oil equivalent (Mmboe) of hydrocarbon from the Dagny oil and gas field. BP plc (BP) has commenced production from the Skarv oil and gas field, in the Norwegian Sea. The capital expenditure allocated for the project is about $7 billion.
In the UK, there are several offshore field developments being carried out, including Total's Martin Linge, Statoil's Gina Krog, and DNO's Ivar Aasen field, in the North Sea.
For more information on the European offshore drilling market, see the latest research: Offshore Drilling Market Research
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