Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Total natural gas production from Norwegian basins in January improved, though not as much as oil when compared with the previous month, data show.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation's energy regulator, reported a preliminary rate for January production of 1.6 million barrels per day on average, an increase of 5 percent, or 77,000 bpd, from December. Total gas production of 12.9 billion cubic feet per day was an increase of 2.2 percent from the previous month.
Norway is one of the world's leading oil and gas producers and sends nearly all of its production from offshore to the European market, making it the region's top supplier after Russia.
Oil production from January, however, was 1.4 percent less than expected, but 4.9 percent more than expected for natural gas, NPD data show. Year-on-year, oil production was relatively even, while gas output was 1.3 percent lower for January 2018.
NPD offered no reason for the variances. Lower production levels in December were attributed to a shut down at the Goliat field in the Barents Sea, which was closed briefly by Norwegian regulators in November because of safety concerns.
Norge Bank, the country's central bank, said growth for the Norwegian economy was moderate and expected to remain that way into the middle of next year. In a fourth quarter survey, the government said mainland growth in gross domestic product was just under 2 percent, a level indicative of healthy growth, for the last three quarters.
Norge Bank Gov. Øystein Olsen said last week that oil and gas has provided a "substantial boost" to Norwegian incomes.
GDP growth for Norway should be just above 2 percent through 2019. Statistics Norway, the government's record-keeping agency, reported that prices for mining support servicing, including those related to extraction, grew 9.2 percent from December.