OSLO, Norway, April 11 (UPI) -- Oil production from Norway of 1.5 million barrels per day was higher than last year and in line with expectations, the nation's energy regulator said Friday.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate released preliminary production figures for March. It said 1.52 million barrels of oil were produced from Norway, a 6 percent increase from March 2013.
Four different fields were closed in March because of technical issues or repair work, though the sector was buoyed by the start up of the Gudrun field earlier this week.
"So far this year the oil production is on level with the NPD’s prognosis," the regulator said.
NPD said it expected its estimate of offshore reserves could grow by 7.5 billion of oil during the next decade.
Norway is the European leader in oil production. It said applications for new acreage in the Norwegian and Barents Seas acreage are due Sept. 2. Awards will be announced during the first quarter of 2015.