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Maintenance period drags Norwegian oil production lower

Oct. 19 (UPI) — Oil production from Norway last month was far lower than expected, but still above figures from last year, a government agency said Thursday.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported lower sales and lower production, based on preliminary data for September. Preliminary data show oil production was 1.44 million barrels of oil per day, which was about 11 percent lower than expected.

“The oil production was below the forecast in September due to maintenance work on some fields,” the NPD’s monthly report read.

Preliminary data for September shows a gain over last year of 3.6 percent. Final figures from August show an average daily rate for oil production at 1.56 million bpd. Total discovered and potential resources are up more than 40 percent since 1990.

Norway is one of the larger regional oil and gas producers and designates nearly all of its offshore production for European exports. There were few successes last month in terms of exploration and production. The Norwegian subsidiary of Lundin Petroleum had no luck in finding new reserves near the giant Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea and Italy’s ENI drilled a dry way near the proven Goliat field.

Aker BP, a merger of Norwegian energy companies and a subsidiary of BP, said total third quarter production was 131.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, down 8 percent from the same period last year.

“The lower production in the third quarter is primarily due to planned maintenance in the period,” Aker BP spokesman Tore Langballe told UPI. “There is no change to the full year guidance.”

For the economy, Statistics Norway reported taxes on the extraction of petroleum for September were down 7.1 percent from last year. Christopher O. Hansen, a staff member at the agency, said the trend lower was a reflection of weaker market conditions, relative to 2014.

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