The North Sea is likely to see 30 crude oil and natural gas projects developed at a combined total of $56.7bn in the coming three years, this despite the low cycle plaguing the market, says a new report.

According to a report published by GlobalData, the UK will have a share in 19 projects while Norway will have 10. Denmark will hold on to one project in the North Sea by 2020.

The total recoverable reserves for all the 30 projects stand at 5.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

As far as capex is concerned, Norway has been estimated to invest around $19.3bn with a bulk of it to be spent on the Johan Sverdrup oil field, revealed the report from the research and consulting company.

When it comes to companies, Statoil has been forecast to be the biggest investor with $19.1bn for its major projects in the region till 2020. The company also has the most reserves at 1.6 billion boe followed up by Lundin Petroleum and Petoro with each holding over 600 million boe.

While 22 of the projects will be for crude oil production, the remainder will be gas projects, said GlobalData upstream analyst Luis Pereira who predicts that Norway will dominate oil production and the UK will be leading in gas production.

Pereira added: “The key planned projects in the North Sea are expected to contribute around 690 thousand barrels of oil per day (mbd) to global crude production and about 1,255 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) to global gas production in 2020.”

The GlobalData report talks of the latest sanctioned projects in the North Sea to cost half than those sanctioned four years ago. This, it says indicates the clear improvements made by companies in achieving cost efficiency.

Besides, costs of operations have come down 50% to a little over $15 per barrel from $30 per barrel. There has also been an increase in production forecast from last year which has been a trend that is likely to continue with the onset of new fields on stream.