Norway Sees Crude Production Growing for First Time in 14 Years

Norway, western Europe’s largest oil producer, expects output to rise 0.7 percent this year, ending a 13-year decline as new fields offset dwindling production from aging North Sea deposits.

Total petroleum production will rise to 215 million cubic meters from 213.7 million cubic meters last year, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said today. Oil production will rise to 85.5 million cubic meters from 84.9 million cubic meters, and gas output will drop to 107 billion cubic meters from 108.7 billion cubic meters, the Stavanger-based authority said.

“The discoveries in recent years have created renewed interest in the Barents Sea, which could come to play an important role in maintaining long-term petroleum production,” NPD Director General Bente Nyland said in a statement. “Concerns over the cost level and oil prices must not prevent us from making decisions that will secure our income base for many years to come.”

After falling by more than half since a 2000 peak, Norway’s crude production will rise from an estimated 85.5 million cubic meters in 2014 to 87 million cubic meters in 2017 thanks to new projects including Knarr, Martin Linge, Edvard Grieg and Ivar Aasen in the North Sea and Goliat in the Barents Sea, the country’s first Arctic oil project. Gas production is expected to rise to 113.3 billion cubic meters in 2017 and 115.8 billion cubic meters the following year, the NPD said.

Discoveries including Johan Sverdrup and Johan Castberg since 2010 have also helped revive exploration optimism in Norway, where 59 wells were drilled last year, second only to the 65 wells sunk in 2009. The number of exploration wells will fall to about 50 in 2014 as companies invest more heavily in field developments, the NPD said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mikael Holter in Oslo at mholter2@bloomberg.net; Ilana Friedman-Schroit in Stavanger at ifriedmansch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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