Norway Oil Investments to Fall

Norway Oil Investments  to FallNorway Oil Investments  to Fall

Norway expects its oil and gas investments, a cornerstone of its economy, to drop by nearly 21% by 2017 from a record high last year, the government said in its 2016 budget on Wednesday. Oil companies have slashed investments over the past year in response to a halving of crude oil prices since mid-2014 and soaring development costs, Reuters reported. The Norwegian government now sees investment in the sector, excluding exploration, falling to $16.3 billion (135 billion crowns) in 2017 from 170 billion crowns in 2014. Including exploration, investment is expected to fall to 167 billion crowns next year from 184 billion crowns this year. In its budget, the government announced tax cuts to boost the economy hit by the weak oil sector. The budget also projected that the cost of developing Total's Martin Linge Oilfield would now be 14% higher than last year's estimate and 26% higher than initial projections given in 2012. The field would also start production a year later than planned, in January 2018. Total's partners include Statoil and Norway's state-owned Petoro.