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Norway's oil production lower than expected

Preliminary production figures for January at about 1.6 million barrels per day.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Norway's oil production lower than expected
Preliminary data show a modest decline in crude oil production from Norway, the nation's energy regulator reports. Photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Preliminary oil production figures for Norway show a daily average of about 1.6 million barrels per day, which the government said was lower than expected.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the national regulator, reported preliminary production for January at 2.02 million barrels of oil, natural gas liquids and condensate. Of that total, January production for oil was about 1.6 million barrels per day, which was about 4.3 percent lower than December.

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"The oil production is about 0.3 percent below the NPD's prognosis for the month," the regulator said in its monthly report.

The NPD offered no data to explain the decline. Final production figures for December show an average daily production of oil at 1.7 million bpd, about 3 percent, or 60,000 bpd less, than November.

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Despite the decline for December, the NPD 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.

Norway is one of the larger energy producers in the world and a main supplier to the European market, aside from Russia. Gains or declines in production from Norway could skew efforts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance a market and support crude oil prices. Russia is party to that arrangement as a non-member state.

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Elsewhere on the market side, oil pricing agency Platts announced this week it would shake up the grade of oil that makes up the global benchmark Brent as North Sea production fades by adding in oil from the Troll field offshore Norway.

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By the standards used by Platts, oil from the Troll field, which is operated by Norwegian energy major Statoil, is the next-best thing to what's already in the Brent basket. Last year, the Troll field in the Norwegian waters of the North Sea reached its 1 billionth barrel of oil after 20 years in production.

RELATED Norway heralds new North Sea production

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