Norway’s oil and gas companies maintained predictions for record spending this year, even with their more selective approach towards projects due to rising costs and lower profitability.

Norway is the largest oil and gas producer in Western Europe, and according to Statistics Norway, spending by companies in the sector is forecast to reach 223.7 billion kroner ($41.3 billion) this year, a 7 percent increase from last year and a close match to the December estimate of 223.3 billion kroner ($41.2 billion).

Despite estimates for record-high spending in 2014, Statistics Norway’s forecasts represent a slowdown in investment growth from 2013, when the rate of growth was over 20 percent. As a result, spending plans have been cut by larger firms hoping to boost returns as costs rise and the price of oil stagnates. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate warned that these spending cuts may hurt efforts to boost recovery of producing fields; oil-industry investments could fall as soon as next year, according to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, which expects spending to climb to a record 214 billion kroner next year before falling in 2016.

Eric Doyle, Regional Director – Europe at Aquaterra Energy, said: “Norway is one of Aquaterra Energy’s key strategic regions, having recently opened new offices in Stavanger. With the Norwegian government’s strong investment in infrastructure and education to promote economic recovery, there are huge opportunities for all companies across the oil and gas supply chain in Western Europe’s largest oil producing nation. Aquaterra Energy is anticipating increased demand for its specialist riser and structural engineering expertise, as well as its wide range of rental equipment, including its H4, NT2 and other connectors.”