Norway’s Cash Flow From Offshore Fields Crashes Due to Low Natural Gas Prices

Norway saw cash flow from its stakes in oil and gas fields nearly halve in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period of 2023, as natural gas prices slumped and gas consumption in Europe was below expectations, said state company Petoro, which manages field holdings of Western Europe’s top oil and gas producer.

In the first quarter of the year, Petoro delivered a cash flow of $5.4 billion (60 billion Norwegian crowns) from the State’s Direct Financial Interest (SDFI) to Norway. The cash flow was $5.14 billion (57 billion crowns) lower than in the first quarter of 2023.After a couple of years of abnormally high natural gas prices, the achieved gas price in the first quarter was 51% lower than in the same quarter last year, Petoro said on Thursday.

“The Continent experienced a relatively mild winter, which meant that gas consumption was lower than expected. This is an important factor that has affected price and revenues,” Petoro CEO Kristin Kragseth said, adding “The cash flow from our production is still high from a historical perspective.”Production from the state portfolio in Norway’s offshore fields hit in the first quarter the highest level since the first quarter of 2018, Petoro said.

The state firm is working closely with operators and license partners to continue developing new and profitable production with the lowest possible emissions. Activity on the Norwegian shelf will remain high over the next few years, Petoro says.

Earlier this week, Norway’s Energy Minister Terje Aasland received the field development plan for a new North Sea oil and gas field that would be tied back to an existing platform and is expected to cost $572 million (6.3 billion crowns).Oil and gas companies plan to boost exploration activity and spending offshore Norway this year as Western Europe’s top oil and gas producer looks to maintain production and raise exports to the rest of Europe.