OMV in Plans for $6bn Initial Spend to Develop Norway Oil Discovery

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Austria’s OMV and partners plan to invest up to $6 billion initially to develop the Arctic Wisting oil find, Norway’s northernmost oil discovery, which could start production within a decade, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

OMV, which is partly owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, owns a 25 per cent stake in the Wisting licence and the other stakeholders are Norway’s Equinor, Norwegian state-owned firm Petoro and Japan’s Idemitsu.

OMV said the recoverable resource estimate of the find had increased to 440 million barrels of oil, from 350 million barrels previously, after drilling of an appraisal well at the site in 2017.

Knut Mauseth, head of OMV’s Norwegian subsidiary,said on the sidelines of an energy conference on Wednesday that the group plans an initial investment of $4.7 billion to $5.9bn to develop the find.

Trade publication Petro.no was first to report the preliminary cost estimate.

Wisting is Norway’s northernmost oilfield, located 300 kilometres north of the Nordic country’s mainland.

Mr Mauseth said a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel would be used as a production facility and oil from the field would be exported from the field by tankers, Reuters said. A decision on the type of FPSO would be taken in 2020, with production expected to start in 2026, he said.

The Norwegian government is keen for oil firms to develop new oil and gas in the Barents Sea and is considering building an oil terminal on mainland Norway to handle oil exports from offshore fields.

Mr Mauseth, however, said OMV did not believe a terminal would be economically viable.

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