June 21 (UPI) — Crude oil production from Norway, the region’s top supplier, was better than expected, a national energy regulator said Wednesday.
Norway is a main oil and natural gas supplier for the European economy, designating nearly all of its offshore production for exports. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation’s energy regulator, said preliminary figures for May were lower than the previous month, but better than expected.
Based on preliminary data, the average production for May was 1.98 million barrels per day for oil, natural gas liquids and condensate, an ultra light form of oil. That’s about 5 percent less than the previous month.
About 80 percent of the total volume was oil and the NPD said the 1.61 million barrels per day average was 2.8 percent higher year-on-year and 1.9 percent above its expectations for May.
“The oil production is about 1.9 percent above the prognosis so far this year,” the NPD explained.
The diagnosis from the NPD on May production levels comes as crude oil prices face pressure from an over-supplied market. Higher volumes from U.S. shale oil basins and some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are offsetting efforts to balance the market through coordinated production declines.
Last week, the NPD said total discovered and potential resources are up more than 40 percent since 1990. Ingrid Solvberg, the NPD’s director for development, said Norway has been producing oil and natural gas for nearly 50 years “and we are still not halfway done.”