Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Total production of oil and natural gas from Norway in July was about 5 percent higher the previous month, but lower than the government said it expected.
Norway is one of the largest oil and natural gas producers in the world and, apart from Russia, the top exporter to the European market, designating nearly all of what it producers offshore to the foreign market.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said preliminary figures show total average daily production of oil, natural gas liquids and condensate, an ultra-light form of oil, was 2 million barrels, an increase of 93,000 bpd from the previous month.
An NPD report from June said total discovered and potential resources are up more than 40 percent since 1990. With 50 years behind it, the department estimated Norway is not yet at the halfway point as a producer.
Most of the new discoveries made offshore Norway have been in the North Sea, but the largest are in the Barents Sea. The 70 or so discoveries made recently hold an estimated 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Statoil, a company partially owned by the Norwegian government that started new North Sea production in July, said financial success during the second quarter came from strong operational performance, improved production and higher prices for oil and natural gas. Lundin Petroleum, a Swedish company focused on offshore Norway, mirrored Statoil's success, with its CEO saying the second quarter was characterized by "strong production."
By resource, the NPD said the preliminary rate for production in July, which marks the start of the third quarter, was 1.62 million bpd for oil, 346,000 bpd of natural gas liquid and 32,000 bpd of condensate.
"The oil production is about 7 percent below the oil production in July last year and is about 0.7 percent below the NPD's prognosis for July 2017," the nation's energy regulator said. "The oil production is about 1.2 percent above the prognosis so far this year."
The NPD offered no explanation for the variances. Total production of those resources for the first seven months of the year is 1.5 percent higher than last year.