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UPDATE 1-Norway oil firms raise 2021 investment plans, cuts seen for 2022

Wed 17th February, 2021 7:58am
(Adds quotes, detail)
    OSLO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Oil and gas firms in Norway have
increased their 2021 investment plans in recent months, but
still plan to spend less than last year and to reduce spending
in 2022, a national statistics office (SSB) survey showed on
    The biggest sector in Norway now expects to invest 173.6
billion Norwegian crowns ($20.5 billion) this year, up from a
forecast of 166.3 billion in November, the SSB said, but that
still lags last year's 179.3 billion.
    Its initial forecast for 2022 stood at 138 billion, some
8.9% lower than predictions for 2021 a year ago, SSB said.
    Investment levels have an impact on both the near-term
growth of Norway's economy as well as the country's longer-term
output of petroleum.
    Last year, Norway's parliament approved temporary tax
incentives to spur oil and gas investments, triggering promises
by Equinor  EQNR.OL  and others to accelerate development of
existing finds to bring them on stream.*:nL8N2KA147
    To qualify for the incentives, which could reduce
development costs by around $10 per barrel of oil according to
industry estimates, projects need to be approved by the end of
    "The indicated decrease in 2022 is mainly due to low
estimates in field development ... The decline is related to
more developments being completed in 2021 or early in 2022," SSB
said in a statement.
    A string of new development plans are expected this year and
next, but major investments associated with them tend to come
only as construction of platforms and pipelines gets underway.
    As the vast majority plan to start up late next year, the
SSB noted these will involve  relatively low investment in 2022.
    ($1 = 8.4731 Norwegian crowns)

 (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by Nora Buli and Jason
 ((; +47 918 666 70))
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