Norway posts decline in oil production, but government said it wasn't as bad as expected considering some fields were closed for maintenance. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo
OSLO, Norway, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Total production of oil and natural gas liquids was down almost 10 percent, the Norwegian government said, though some of the decline was not market related.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said preliminary production figures for August show a 9.5 percent decline from the previous month. The government office said the decline was not as low as expected considering at least one field in Norwegian waters was closed for maintenance.
August oil production averaged about 1.6 million barrels per day, which the government said was the same as last year and 9 percent above what was initially forecast by the NPD. Preliminary production figures for July showed oil, natural gas liquid and condensate were on the rise because fields in production were contributing more to the overall volumes than initially expected.
The Norwegian government's statistics office said total investments in oil and gas extraction and pipeline transport for the year are estimated to reach just under $20 billion, a 1.5 percent decline from the previous full-year estimate. The government attributed the decline to the reclassification of some fields that moved from development to production this year.
Despite the headwinds, weak economic growth in the latter half of 2016 has replaced an economic standstill, with gains in home-building and exports expected to provide a lift through early 2017. Crude oil prices, however, aren't expected to hit the $60 range until 2019, the government said.
The drop in oil prices since 2014 led to declines in overall employment and the general government surplus of $20 billion over the last four quarters was down by more than $7.2 billion from the preceding four-quarter period.
Norway is among the top suppliers of fossils fuels to the European economy.