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The number of job vacancies in Norway’s oil and gas industry rose in the fourth quarter last year compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, in what could be early signs of recovery after the oil price slump.
The number of job openings in mining and quarrying – an industry dominated by the production of oil and gas – increased to 600 in Q4 2016 from just 200 in Q4 2015, Statistics Norway said on Thursday. However, the government’s statistics office pointed out that the Q4 2015 baseline for comparison was a very low number. In comparison, the job vacancies in oil and gas in Q4 2011, when oil prices were still above US$100, were 2,200, the statistics office said.
Norway’s economy as a whole has started to slowly recover from the oil price bust, Statistics Norway data showed earlier this month. Gross domestic product, excluding oil and gas income, expanded by 0.3 percent on a quarterly basis between October and December 2016, versus analyst expectations of 0.4-percent growth. Including oil and gas income, GDP expanded by 1.1 percent, the authority said, on the back of rising oil investments – these went up for the first time in 13 quarters in Q4 2016.
In terms of oil and gas production, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said last month that the average daily production of oil, NGL and condensate stood at 2,094,000 barrels in December 2016, down by around 3 percent compared to November. For full-2016, however, Norway’s total petroleum production increased compared to 2015, with oil production rising for the third year in a row, thanks to good regularity on the fields and efficiency measures that have substantially reduced operating and exploration costs.
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For exports, the government’s petroleum statistics shows that the export value of Norway’s crude oil and natural gas accounted for around 47 percent of the total value of Norway’s exports of goods. Exports of natural gas increased slightly in 2016, and oil exports rose for a third consecutive year, but the export revenues were lower than in 2015 due to the lower average prices.
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.