Norway has no plans to support oil prices by cutting production

3/26/2015

MIKAEL HOLTER

STAVANGER, Norway (Bloomberg) -- Norway has no plans to reduce output to support crude prices after they plunged 50% in the last nine months.

“Limiting Norway’s oil production is not currently on the agenda,” Ella Bye Moerland, a spokeswoman for the Petroleum and Energy Ministry, said in an emailed reply to questions. “A stable oil market with prices at a reasonably high level is important to both oil-producing and oil-consuming countries.”

Algeria, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is seeking to coordinate a global response to the price slump from producers within and outside OPEC, the Algeria Press Service news agency reported earlier this month. Talks last week between Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Norway’s Foreign Minister Boerge Brende touched on the oil-price decline, APS reported. Norway’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the content of those talks.

“We prefer a situation with more stable prices at a reasonable level that stimulates economic growth and makes necessary investment in the petroleum sector profitable,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Frode Andersen said in a separate email. “However, we believe it’s necessary for the market to correct itself when imbalances occur.”

Oil prices plunged to as low as $45/bbl for the Benchmark Brent blend in January from more than $115 in June after OPEC in November decided not to adjust its production amid surging output from U.S. onshore fields.

Norway also said in November it had no plans to change production levels.

Norway Output

Norway, which isn’t a member of OPEC, produced 1.9 MMbpd of oil and other petroleum liquids in 2014, according to figures from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. That represents about 2% of global production, which reached 93 MMbpd last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

While the NPD expects the Nordic country’s production of liquids to remain stable for the three coming years, it said in January that forecasts could be revised down if the oil price “remains much lower over time.”

Norway and other non-OPEC members in 2002 joined a concerted initiative with the cartel to limit production in order to support oil prices. That cut occurred as Norway’s production levels were still near a 2000 peak. Output has since dropped by more than half as mature North Sea fields are depleted.

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