OSLO, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Norway's oil industry will cut investments more sharply next year than had originally been expected, as falling prices make oil firms more cautious, the country's energy minister said on Monday.
"We must honestly admit that there will be a drop in investments and that it will be a bigger fall than had originally been expected," Oil and Energy Minister Tord Lien told Reuters on the sidelines of an energy conference.
The oil industry itself last week predicted a 10.9 percent drop in investments from 2014 to 2015, from a record high of 221 billion Norwegian crowns ($32.67 billion) this year to 197 billion next year.
Lien declined to comment on the specific investment level he expected for 2015.
Oil firms on Norway's continental shelf, including top producer Statoil, have announced cost cuts and staff reductions in recent months. (1 US dollar = 6.7608 Norwegian krone)
(Reporting by Joachim Dagenborg and Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Terje Solsvik)
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