OSLO – Norway's total petroleum output rose 2% in 2012 as higher gas production offset the continued decline in oil output, data from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate showed Friday.
The total petroleum output, which includes oil, gas, condensates and natural gas liquids, was 3.86 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2012. The directorate added it expects production in 2013 to fall to 3.67 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, or 5%, before rebounding to the 2012 level in the following years.
Despite record-high oil sector investments, Norway's crude oil output fell 8.5% on the year to 1.53 million barrels per day in 2012, hampered by technical problems and delays at several fields. Norway's crude oil production has more than halved since its peak in 2000 at 3.12 million bpd.
Gas output, on the other hand, increased 12% to 1.94 million bpd, the directorate said.
Norway's total petroleum production peaked in 2004 at 4.54 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Total production fell 5% in 2011 and 4% in 2010.
Bente Nyland, head of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, was, however, optimistic about future prospects: "A stable, high oil price combined with huge discoveries gives reason for optimism," adding that the oil price was an average $112 a barrel in 2012. "This makes the Norwegian shelf and new developments profitable."
Nevertheless, several fields have been hampered by technical problems and maintenance in 2012, including the BP Plc operated Valhall, Hod, Ula and Tambar fields, the Dong Energy AS operated Oselvar field, the GDF Suez operated Gjoa, and Statoil ASA's Njord, Asgard and Troll fields.
In addition, production start-up was delayed at the BP-operated Skarv field, which started pumping in December, and at the Talisman Energy Inc. operated Yme field, after cracks were discovered in its structure.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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