Norway's crude oil output continues to disappoint

12/17/2012

Norway's crude oil output continues to disappoint

BY KJETIL MALKENES HOVLAND

OSLO -- Norway has missed its oil production target for a third consecutive month and won't achieve its 2012 goal for output because of maintenance and technical problems, mostly involving fields operated by BP and Statoil. November crude oil production was 15% below the official forecast, while September were also off by 12% and 15% respectively, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said. Oil production is about 4% below expectations for the year so far, the government agency said.

Norway's crude oil output peaked in 2000 at 3.12 MMbopd It was about half that in 2011. Output averaged 1.443 MMbopd in November, when maintenance and technical problems kept the Valhall and Hod fields operated by BP out of service for a second month.

Three other fields BP's Ula and Tambar and the Oselvar field operated by the DONG Energy also remained closed, because of a hydrocarbon leak. Plans to start production have been delayed at two other fields. One, the BP operated Skarv field, is expected to start pumping in December but that will not save the production target, the agency said.

Production at Gjoa, operated by GDF Suez, and Statoil's Njord, Asgard and Troll fields have also been affected by technical problems or planned maintenance, according to the directorate.

The production start up at the Talisman operated Yme field is still uncertain after it was evacuated earlier this year due to cracks in the platform structure.

Total petroleum production by end November 2012 is slightly higher than in the year earlier period, at 1.294 Bboe, or about 3.86 MMbpd . This includes oil, gas, condensates and natural gas liquids.

Dow Jones Newswires

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