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Buzzard Production Levels to Return to Normal by Midweek

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LONDON--Production from the key U.K. Buzzard oil field should resume by midweek after it experienced an outage over the weekend, the field operator said Monday.

Nexen Inc., a unit of China's Cnooc Ltd. (CEO), said: "We are now preparing to restart the plant and expect production to return to normal levels by mid-week."

Production over the weekend at Buzzard, which Nexen says is the second-largest oil producer in the U.K. North Sea, was intermittent due to equipment failure.

A London-based trader said Nexen operators were trying to restart the field Monday.

In 2012, Buzzard generated around 160,000 barrels a day of oil equivalent.

A prolonged and total closure of the field in 2012 had major consequences for the U.K., helping to tip it back into recession in the final three months of the year.

Extractive industries, which include mining and quarrying but to which North Sea oil and gas comprise the bulk, contribute 2.4% of total U.K. gross domestic product, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Oil from Buzzard flows to shore via the Forties pipeline system.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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