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Norwegian production of crude oil and natural gas was below government forecasts in November, according to preliminary data from the local regulator published on Tuesday.
Norway’s crude oil production averaged 1.74 million barrels per day (bpd) in November, data from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) showed today. That was 8.7% below the forecast of 1.905 million bpd and slightly below the October crude oil output of 1.749 million bpd.
Natural gas production was 1.8% below government forecasts and averaged 346.4 million cubic meters per day, also slightly down compared to the October production.
Going forward, Norway is expected to increase both its crude oil and natural gas production in the short term.
Last week, Equinor started pumping oil from the second development phase of the giant Johan Sverdrup oilfield, which will raise production from Western Europe’s biggest oilfield by more than 180,000 barrels per day (bpd).
“Johan Sverdrup accounts for large and important energy deliveries, and in the current market situation, most of the volumes will go to Europe,” said Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s executive vice president for Projects, Drilling & Procurement.
Johan Sverdrup produces 535,000 bpd, and with Johan Sverdrup 2, the giant oilfield will produce 720,000 bpd at plateau.
At this rate of production, Johan Sverdrup alone could be capable of meeting 6-7% of the daily oil demand in Europe, Equinor says.
Increased supply from Johan Sverdrup, most of which will go to Europe, is welcome news for the EU which has to replace 500,000 bpd or possibly more of seaborne imports of Russian crude oil now that the EU embargo on imports by sea has taken effect.
Natural gas production in Norway, which supplies around 25% of the gas consumed in the EU and the UK, is expected to rise by 8 percent in 2022 compared to 2021, government estimates showed earlier this year.
This summer, Norway’s authorities approved applications from operators to boost production from several operating gas fields, to allow higher gas production as its key partners, the EU and the UK, scrambled for gas supply ahead of the winter.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.