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Norwegian oil and gas production up for the year


Preliminary data show a decline, however, from levels reported in November.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Jan. 17, 2017
Production from offshore Norway slumps in December, though full-year output recorded another consecutive year of gains, government data show. File Photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI
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STAVANGER, Norway, Jan. 17 (UPI) — Total production of oil and gas in Norway dipped in December, though full-year output increased for the third year in a row, the government reported.

The government reported total preliminary production of oil, natural gas liquids and an ultra-light form of product called condensate at close to 2.1 million barrels per day on average for December, a 3 percent decline from November’s levels.

Norway is among the leading oil and natural gas suppliers to the European economy apart from Russia. Preliminary data for November showed a 2 percent increase from October.

Despite the dip of about 60,000 barrels per day in December, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said full-year 2016 production was higher than the previous year, even as lower crude oil prices put negative pressure on the industry as a whole.

“The oil production increased for the third consecutive year in 2016, and gas production was at the same level as the previous year, which was a record year for production,” the national regulator stated in its monthly report. “The high level is in part due to good regularity on the fields, and the fact that various efficiency measures have led to substantial reductions in operating and exploration costs.”

The full-year production figures follow confirmation from the NPD of a new discovery made by Norwegian energy company Statoil in the northern waters of the Norwegian Sea. Preliminary estimates put the size of the discovery at around 17 million barrels of oil equivalents at the low end.

NPD Director General Bente Nyland said last week that oil and gas production remained high and companies have adjusted well to a sea change in the energy sector brought on by lower crude oil prices. Cost reductions for some developments of as much as 50 percent, meanwhile, mean companies will remain profitable provided the industry shows a degree of patience.

The figures add to a lingering market scenario of oversupply. Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to a short-term 2017 production ceiling of around 32.5 million bpd in an effort to pull the market back into balance.