OSLO – Norway produced 15% less crude oil than estimated in September and will likely produce less oil than the expected 1.6 million barrels per day in 2012, said the country's Petroleum Directorate Wednesday.
Norway's crude oil production hit a peak in 2000 at 3.12 million barrels per day, which was nearly halved to 1.68 million barrels per day in 2011.
In September 2012, crude oil production was 1.243 million barrels per day, compared with 1.498 million barrels per day in August, preliminary numbers showed Wednesday.
The production fall in September was due to maintenance and technical problems on several fields, the directorate said. The BP operated Valhall and Hod fields were shut down the entire month of September to prepare the production start-up on a new platform.
In addition, the Talisman Energy operated Yme field and the BP operated Skarv field were expected to contribute with new production in September, but none of them will be in production in 2012, the directorate said.
So far in 2012, Norway's oil production is about 2% below the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's estimate for full-year production. The directorate said it may be challenging to achieve the estimated production, because the estimate was quite high for the remaining months of 2012.
In its annual production report for 2011, the directorate estimated Norway's 2012 production of crude oil would reach 1.616 million barrels per day.
Norway's combined production of oil, natural gas liquids and condensates was 1.514 million barrels per day in September, 318,000 barrels per day lower than in August, the directorate said. Natural gas sales also fell in September, to 6.9 billion cubic meters, down 1.2 billion cubic meters from August.
Norway's combined oil and gas production peaked in 2004 at 4.54 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. By 2011, production had fallen 16.7% to 3.8 million barrels per day.
Total petroleum production so far in 2012 is 1.06 billion barrels of oil equivalent, 43 million barrels more than in the year-earlier period. Crude oil's share of total production so far in 2012 is 40.2%, the rest is gas, natural gas liquids and condensates.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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