Oil and gas firms in Norway have boosted investment plans in recent months as more exploration and development projects are prepared, and as some costs have increased, an industry survey by the statistics office (SSB) showed on Thursday.
The investment forecast for 2021 has been raised by 12%, it said.
Investment levels, impacting both the near-term growth of Norway's economy as well as the country's longer-term output of petroleum, is still expected to decline in 2021 from 2020, but the drop will be smaller than anticipated three months ago.
Investments in the country's main economic sector are now projected at 166.3 billion crowns ($18.4 billion) next year, up from the 148.6 billion crowns forecast in August, SSB said.
Investments in 2020 are meanwhile seen at 182.5 billion crowns, down from a previous view of 184.6 billion, SSB added.
Petroleum companies, including Equinor, have revived several projects after the Norwegian parliament in June granted tax incentives to spur investment and safeguard jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
($1 = 9.0287 Norwegian crowns)
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche)