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Norwegian oil production 5 percent higher than expected

Norway is a major European supplier and output could balance against OPEC cuts.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Norwegian oil production 5 percent higher than expected
Norwegian government said its data show oil production is coming in at higher than expected. Photo courtesy BP p.l.c.

STAVANGER, Norway, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Total production of crude oil, natural gas and other similar products increased about 37,000 barrels per day from October, the Norwegian government said.

Norway is among the leading oil and natural gas suppliers to the European economy apart from Russia. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported preliminary data for November show an average production of 2.15 million barrels of oil, natural gas liquid and an ultra-light product called condensate, which is about 2 percent higher than figures from October.

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Average daily production of oil from Norway was 1.74 million barrels, about 9 percent higher than the NPD reported last year and 11 percent higher than expected.

"The oil production is about 5 percent above the prognosis so far this year," the NPD said

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Norwegian energy company Statoil, which is part owned by the government, reported this week that its Troll field in the North Sea reached its 1 billionth barrel. The company said Troll production has been relatively flat over the past few years, but another eight to 10 years of production is left in the field.

In October, the NPD said Statoil uncovered oil near an existing field in the southern waters of the Norwegian Sea while drilling a wildcat well, a well tapping into an area not previously known to contain hydrocarbons.

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The Norwegian energy major recently submitted a plan for development to Petroleum Minister Tord Lien for the Trestakk discovery, which holds about 76 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent, and most of that exists as oil.

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The figures add to a lingering market scenario of oversupply. Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to a production ceiling of around 32.5 million bpd in an effort to pull the market back into balance. That level would amount to a cut in OPEC production and the arrangement hinges on non-member states to be effective.

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