The Norwegian continental shelf has changed a great deal in the course of the past eight years – in terms of both the numbers of companies at work there and their characteristics. Researchers at SINTEF Technology and Society have interviewed representatives of 13 companies and have also looked at their corporate presentations and other publicly available information.
Until the turn of the century, the region was dominated by 12 major companies; last year, there were 50 operators, many of them new small Norwegian companies. While many of these new companies are active during the exploration phase, few of them possess the expertise needed for field development and operation. Drilling activity is likely to increase in the near future. More new companies, fusions, takeovers and joint ventures will lead to major changes in the situation in the course of the next five years.