There is now an urgent need for further exploratory drilling on the Norwegian Shelf in the North Sea, according to the Chief of the Oil Directorate, Gunnar Berge.
In his opinion, exploration off the coast of Lofoten and in the Barents Sea on the other hand, may be put off.
Berge says that Norway may lose enormous values if nothing is done in the regions where oil and gas production is now at a maximum.
-What we see is that the day is soon arriving, when these wells are empty, and the production facilities will be dismantled. If this happens, new rigs will never be brought in, and we may miss out on income worth billions, Berge says.
The reason, Berge says, is that smaller oil and gas finds will not be considered economically profitable, if they are not discovered and developed while the present production rigs are still in place, and may be operated with relatively low production costs.
The former finance minister says that the activity on the Norwegian Shelf has now arrived at a crossroads.