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Norway Oil Output to Rise for First Time Since 2000, Rystad Says

Norwegian oil production will climb for the first time in almost a decade-and-a-half in 2014 after this year falling to a 24-year low as new fields start up, according to Rystad Energy, an oil and gas consultant.

Production may expand to as much as 2 million barrels a day in 2020 due to fields including Skrugard-Havis in the Barents Sea, Jarand Rystad, managing partner at the Oslo-based company, said today by e-mail. That compares with expected output of about 1.57 million barrels a day this year and next, he said.

“Existing fields and new fields already sanctioned for development will be able to maintain a flat production of crude oil to 2017,” while new fields such as Skrugard-Havis, Dagny, Draupne, Svalin and Maria will lift output toward 2020, he said.

Production has almost dropped by half since peaking at 3.12 million barrels a day in 2000 as reserves dwindled from aging offshore fields, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate says. Prospects improved in the past two years after finds including Havis-Skrugard and Johan Sverdrup, the biggest since 1974, and as Norway opens new areas for exploration in the Arctic.

Statoil ASA, Norway’s largest oil and gas producer, plans to start production from the North Sea’s Johan Sverdrup field, which may hold as much as 3.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, and Skrugard-Havis in the Barents Sea, both in 2018.

Sverdrup will probably reach peak production after 2022, with Norwegian crude output falling from 2021 to about 1.73 million barrels a day in 2025, Rystad said. The directorate in January said output would keep falling in the next five years to 1.55 million barrels a day in 2016 from 1.62 million in 2012.

Rystad Energy expects natural gas output to keep climbing, after a dip last year, to a record 1.88 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2012. Production will peak at 2.02 million barrels a day in 2017 and 2018 before falling back to 1.62 million barrels in 2023, according to the consulting company.

“Gas production will increase due to the Aasta Hansteen field,” Managing Partner Rystad said, referring to a triple discovery in the Voring Basin in the Norwegian Sea. “Gas will see a decline from 2020,” he said. Rystad expects oil output to grow until 2020, Norwegian daily Aftenposten said earlier.

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