* 13 development projects had been expected for 2014/2015
* None submitted so far, some still expected in the autumn
By Joachim Dagenborg
TRONDHEIM, Norway, June 26 Oil firms are
delaying the development of oil and gas fields off Norway, the
head of the agency tasked with managing the country's oil and
gas resources told Reuters on Thursday.
Her comments come after new figures show oil firms in Norway
are cutting spending by more than 10 percent in 2015 compared
with this year, pointing to lower economic growth for the Nordic
Oil and gas producers around the globe are cutting back
spending plans to save cash after a decade-long spending bonanza
cut deep into margins and reduced cash available for dividends.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) was expecting some
13 development projects to be submitted by energy firms to
Norwegian authorities this year and the next, but none have so
far been submitted.
"Our impression is that there is an increased number of oil
projects that are being delayed," Bente Nyland, the head of the
NPD, told Reuters on the margins of a news conference.
"We see that they are being moved by a few weeks or by a
quarter, or even longer ... (But) we expect a few to be
submitted this autumn."
The delays were due to companies wanting to do a more
thorough job before taking an investment decision and going
through a project one more time to be sure of their plans, she
"We think that is fine. We don't want people to hurry, we
want people to do a proper job."
Oil firms have complained that a tax hike on the sector
introduced last year by the government was part of the reason
for increased costs.
Nyland said oil companies had not substantiated that claim.
"It is easy to say that it is becoming more expensive, but
you must also document this, and they have not done that to a
great degree," she said.
(Writing by Gwladys Fouche, Editing by Terje Solsvik and Mark