Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Weather and safety issues at oil and gas fields offshore Norway were singled out by the government as reasons why production was lower than expected.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said average daily production for October was 1.54 million barrels of oil, based on preliminary data. That level was about 4.5 percent less than expected.
"The main reasons that production in October was below forecast is that Goliat was closed down most of the month and production from Gina Krog was less than expected, one of the reasons being loading problems due to bad weather," the agency stated.
Authorities with the Petroleum Safety Authority in Norway last week carried out a follow-up audit of Eni operations at the Goliat floating production storage and offloading unit in the Norwegian waters of the Barents Sea. Production is idled until Eni satisfies concerns related to ignition-control services and other measures the PSA said could reduce the threat of ignition.
Production from Goliat comes from 12 oil-producing wells. A peak rate of 100,000 barrels of oil per day is expected from a field estimated to hold around 180 million barrels of oil.
Gina Krog is slow out of the gate, after coming online in June.
The preliminary estimates for October, however, are about 7 percent higher than final figures from September. The NPD attributed the gains primarily to gains at the Snorre and Ivar Aasen fields.
Norway is important to Europe as it sends nearly all of what it produces offshore to the export market. Its own economy, however, has struggled to maintain momentum, with inflation expected to stay below 2.5 percent over the next few years.
Norges Bank, the country's central bank, said in a letter to the Norwegian Ministry of Finance last week it was recommending the removal of oil and gas stocks from the benchmark Government Pension Fund Global, arguing that it would make Norwegian government wealth less exposed to a "permanent drop in oil and gas prices."