Statoil Prepares For Storm, So Far No Production Cuts

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), Nov. 24, 2011

Norwegian oil and gas giant Statoil ASA said Thursday that the company has cancelled some drilling operations as a major storm heads for northern Norway, but hasn't yet made any cuts to its output, a spokesman said.

"We have made no reductions yet but we evaluate the situation continuously," Ola Anders Skauby, spokesman for Statoil's upstream activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Some drilling operations have been cancelled and in preparation for the storm, Statoil has also reduced outside work and imposed some restrictions on its platforms.

North Sea storms are nothing unusual this time a year, the Statoil spokesman said.

"It's important to understand that this is not an extreme situation," he said. "But we are eyeing the situation closely in order to ensure the safety for our employees and our assets."

A BP PLC (BP) spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires that some rough weather and high seas are predicted in the North Sea later Thursday, "but at this stage we do not anticipate any production problems."

BP is the operator of the Forties Pipeline System. Forties crude is the main component of benchmark Brent, used to price more than half of the world's oil.

A North Sea crude oil trader said Thursday that it is indeed stormy in the main oil producing area, but there isn't a big impact on production.

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