Maintenance drags oil output lower for Norway

If Norway were a member of OPEC, it would sit just behind Nigeria with its average of 1.5 million barrels per day.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  May 16, 2018 at 6:05 AM
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May 16 (UPI) -- Oil production from Norway, one of the main suppliers to the European economy, turned lower last month on maintenance issues, the government said.

If Norway were a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, it would be the seventh-largest producer behind Nigeria. OPEC members are voluntarily trimming production in an effort to drain a surplus from the five-year average in crude oil inventories held by the world's advanced economies, an effort supportive of crude oil prices.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation's energy regulator, reported total production of oil, natural gas liquids and condensate, an ultra-light product, averaged 1.87 million barrels per day last month, a decline of 34,000 bpd from March.

For oil, production averaged 1.5 million barrels per day, 4 percent lower than expected and 3 percent below the forecast for the year.

"The main reasons that production in April was below forecast is maintenance work and minor technical problems on some fields," the NPD's statement from Wednesday read.

Oil revenues account for about 14 percent of the Norwegian gross national product. Tax revenues from petroleum activity in the country jumped last year, when compared with 2016, because of better crude oil prices.

Statistics Norway, the government's record-keeping office, reported GDP increased 0.6 percent in the first quarter, the fifth quarter in a row for growth in the range of 0.6 and 0.7 percent. Oil-related manufacturing was a positive contributor to growth, but the results across the sector were mixed.

Norges Bank, the country's central bank, said the economy was picking up steam following a period of low growth in 2016, when the price of oil dipped below $30 per barrel. In a financial report from March, the bank said a period of decline in petroleum investments was largely over and growth across the economic board is expected through the first half of 2018.

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