Norway's Oil Investments to Fall

Norway's Oil Investments  to FallNorway's Oil Investments  to Fall

Investment in Norway's oil and gas sector, a cornerstone of the economy, will drop next year as weak crude prices push energy companies to rein in their budgets, a national statistics agency survey showed on Wednesday. Norway's offshore sector generates a fifth of gross domestic product and a fall in crude prices has forced energy firms to delay or cancel projects and lay off staff, Reuters reported. Oil and gas investments will reach $18.4 billion next year, down from a May estimate of $18.8 billion, Statistics Norway said. This year they will reach $19.8 billion, down from a May estimate of $20.2 billion. Next year's drop is mainly due to firms, which have been on a cost-saving review for the past two years, mothballing projects to decommission aging installations at offshore oil and gas fields, it said. "Almost the entire decrease from the last survey is due to lower estimates in shutdown and removal of platforms," the agency said in a statement.  The estimate for those costs had dropped 25% since May.