Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The closure of a Barents Sea oil field on safety concerns in part meant daily production rate for November was lower than expected, Norway's government said.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said Wednesday that the preliminary daily rate for November was 1.8 million barrels of oil, natural gas liquids and condensate, an ultra-light petroleum product. That's a decline of 102,000 bpd from October.
"The main reasons that production in November was below forecast is that Goliat was closed during the whole month and production from Gina Krog, Draugen and other fields were less than expected, some of the reasons being technical problems and maintenance work," the NPD explained.
Production at the Goliat field was idled by a Norwegian government order in October. Italian energy company Eni, the operator, was called on to address satisfy concerns related to ignition-control services and other measures the Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway said could reduce the threat of ignition.
Production at Goliat started early last year in the ice-free waters of the Barents Sea. A peak rate of 100,000 bpd is expected from a field estimated to hold around 180 million barrels of oil.
The government gave Eni approval to restart operations in mid-December.
Norway holds the largest crude oil and natural gas reserves in Europe and exports nearly all of what it produces offshore. The government said investment commitments for projects like the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea, which will eventually represent about 25 percent of total Norwegian production, point to clear signs of growth for the petroleum industry.
Data to November, however, show Norwegian output has been sluggish. The NPD said total production is about 1.7 percent lower than it expected so far.