AS Norske Shell, the Norwegian arm of Royal Dutch-Shell, wants to double its production of oil and gas off Norway by 2010. Johan Nic. Vold, a former Statoil executive who has taken the reins at Norske Shell, said his superiors in Britain support an expansion of activity in Norwegian waters.
The company has already been designated operator of the vast Ormen Lange gas field now under development by Norsk Hydro, and it is likely to bid in the Norwegian Oil Directorate's upcoming auction of North Sea licenses. Norske Shell's eagerness was taken as a vote of confidence in offshore Norway's competitiveness when compared with low-cost petroleum provinces in Africa, Asia and the Americas.