Friday, January 15, 2016

"Every One Of Norway's Oil Fields Are Currently Underwater"

The headline is from the first paragraph of the linked piece.
I really hope the writer was making a joke. More* after the jump.

From ZeroHedge:

Norway's Black Gold Fields Are A Sea Of Red - A Real-Time Map Of Crude Carnage
Norway is in trouble. As we have detailed previously (here, here, here, and here), the world's largest sovereign wealth fund has begun liquidating assets (after its largest quarterly loss) as the nation faces recessionary fears (key data deterioration as oil stays lower for longer) with expectations building (despite denials by the central bank) that ZIRP (or even NIRP) is coming. Why? Simple - as the following real-time map shows - every one of Norway's oil fields are currently underwater!
As we explained previously, while the slump in oil has pressured the krone and thus helped the country preserve some semblance of export competitiveness, the fact that i) everyone else is easing, and ii) global demand and trade are in the doldrums, serves as a kind of counterweight, leading directly to a situation wherein the currency, in Bloomberg’s words, “just can’t get weak enough.”  

Now, Svenska Handelsbanken is out predicting that “lower for longer” crude will eventually force Norway to cut rates to zero.
Here’s more, via Bloomberg:
With oil prices still wobbling around $50, Norway is in danger of a recession that could drive its benchmark interest rates, already at a record low, to zero.

That’s what economists at Svenska Handelsbanken AB in Oslo say as they warn that “recessionary risks are significant.” The central bank in September cut rates to 0.75 percent and signaled more than a 50 percent chance for a third reduction since the drop in oil prices accelerated, about a year ago. Handelsbanken sees three cuts next year, bringing the benchmark to zero by the end of 2016.

“The Norwegian economy will now experience a deeper downturn than during the financial crisis, with output expected to stay below its potential for longer than it did last time,” Kari Due-Andresen and Knut Anton Mork, economists at Handelsbanken, wrote in their latest report.

Before the big oil price drop even got started, Norway was already battling a bigger-than-expected fall in investments. Now, with Brent crude lower still, investments by oil and gas companies operating in Norway are set to suffer.
As a reminder, Norway is now set to dip into its sovereign wealth fund for the first time. Earlier this month, budget estimates indicated that inflows from petroleum activities in 2016 will fall short of what the government plans to take out of the fund by nearly NKr4 billion. Here's a graphic from RBS which illustrates the relative size of Norway's SWF:...MORE
 *Norway's Petroleum Directorate on the search for oil onshore:

Disappointed on land 
Hopes of finding onshore oil in Norway have sprung eternal. Some of these tales about possible discoveries really happened, some are uncertain and others are downright fabrications.
  • Terje Solbakk, geologist, NPD
This article builds on interviews, systematic gathering of clippings from Aftenposten’s digital web archives, microfilm searches of Harstad Tidende and Adresseavisen, yearbooks and so forth.

Harstad Tidende
Influence.A government visit to northern Norway produced no
promises of spin-offs for the region.
(Facsimile: Harstad Tidende, 31 August 1973)
Oljefunn i 1950
Oil in 1950.
Adresseavisen reported that crude flowed out here at Oksvold in Fosen.
(Microfilm archive)
“Oil field” owner Amandus Hansen presents crude from Vangsvik.
(Facsimile: Aftenposten, 5 August 1971)

Tor Edvardt Jørgensen
Oil finder.Tor Edvardt Jørgensen points to the spot where the
black liquid emerged at Vangsvik on Senja.
(Photo: Terje Solbakk)
< Elephant. Circus director Liv Berny Løken bought oil shares. (Harstad Tidende, microfilm archive)

A water pipe was being laid in the spring of 1964 to drain a stream crossing a meadow at Vangsvik on Senja island in northern Norway when oil was spotted flowing from the river bank.

This discovery took teenagers Tor Edvardt Jørgensen and Odin Pedersen by surprise. They built a little dam just where the oil was emerging. It could be skimmed off the water like cream.

The local community was fired up, and one of the neighbours came running with a cream separator. A large dark slick formed on the Solberg Fjord below the field.

Mr Jørgensen recalls that they dipped twists of cotton in the oil, which “burnt good and black.” He went to sea on the Coastal Express service and was away for three years.

The oil on Senja was headline news in the national press. Geologists quickly showed that the bedrock in Vangsvik was not the type to contain hydrocarbons, and that this could be nothing big.

But landowner Amandus Hansen was convinced that oil had been found. Samples were sent to the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH – now the Norwegian University of Science and Technology) in Trondheim for analysis.

The locals in Vangsvik heard nothing about the results. A new sample was sent to a US laboratory and returned, allegedly with the message that this was firstclass mineral oil.

A report also exists from the NTH’s analysis, which cast doubt on the sample being entirely natural and suggested it might have been “salted” (planted by humans).

The quantity of oil in the sample was nevertheless small, with only five grams of it being extractable from the five kilograms of soil sent in.

While the NCS was opened to exploration in 1965, four years passed before large volumes of offshore oil were proven. Ekofisk in the North Sea was pronounced commercial on 23 December 1969....MUCH MORE