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Norway eyes 21 oil, gas field development plans 2019-2021

STAVANGER, Norway, May 29 (Reuters) - Norway expects oil companies to present development plans (PDO) for up to 21 new or expanded offshore oil and gas fields by the end of 2021, the head of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) told Reuters.

Western Europe's largest oil producer and Europe's second-largest gas exporter behind Russia is seeing a stronger-than-expected upswing in petroleum investments as oil firms ramp up exploration and developments, Statistics Norway said on Tuesday.

"(I expect) between three and six (PDOs) this year... What we see is like 10-15 altogether that will come in the coming two years," NPD chief Bente Nyland told Reuters on the sidelines of an energy conference.

"There will be a very high activity level but not so many of the big (fields)," Nyland added. She did not provide resource forecasts for the developments.

Handing in a PDO, including resource and cost estimates as well as construction details, is a key step an oil firm must take to win approval for a development from Norwegian regulators.

Overall, there are currently some 70 oil and gas discoveries being evaluated by license owners for potential development, said Nyland, adding that most of these were candidates for tie-ins to existing platforms via subsea technology. (Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, editing by Terje Solsvik)