Norway sees rapid growth in oil output from 30-year lows

Norway sees rapid growth in oil output from 30-year lows
Equinor says the Johan Sverdrup oil field, situated some 140 km off the southwestern coast of Norway, is expected to remain in production for at least half a century. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 10 January 2020

Norway sees rapid growth in oil output from 30-year lows

Norway sees rapid growth in oil output from 30-year lows
  • By 2023, combined production of oil and gas is expected to reach close to record level

STAVANGER: Norway’s oil output will grow by 43 percent from 2019 to 2024 as new fields come on stream and older production facilities are upgraded, forecasts from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) showed on Thursday.

The numbers show a revival for Norwegian crude production, which last year fell to its lowest level since 1989 as older fields gradually depleted their reserves.

By 2023, combined output of oil and gas is expected to reach close to the record level seen in 2004, the agency said, although gas would have a greater share than before.

“This time oil will account for about half of the total,” NPD chief Ingrid Soelvberg told a news conference.

Crude output from the country’s offshore fields is now predicted to hit 2.02 million barrels per day in 2024, up from a 30-year low of 1.41 million last year, as major oilfields Sverdrup and Castberg gradually come on stream.

“After two years of lower output, production will rise again in 2020, mainly due to the startup of Johan Sverdrup but also due to other finds,” Soelvberg said.

Natural gas production is predicted to rise to 117.1 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2020 from 113.2 bcm in 2019, but below a previous forecast of 120.2 bcm, it added.

The NPD now expects Norway’s oil output to total 1.76 million barrels per day in 2020, up from a previous forecast of 1.74 million made a year ago.

While exploration increased in 2019, to 57 wells from 53 the previous year, it will likely decline to 50 wells in 2020, the NPD said.

Exploration in the Barents Sea in the Arctic brought only one discovery last year, an area that once had been expected to be a new oil and gas province for the Nordic country.

State-controlled Equinor and its partners earlier on Thursday announced plans to further extend production from their Statfjord field, which has been producing since the 1970s and is now expected to remain on stream beyond 2040.

While Norway supports the 2015 Paris climate agreement, and aims to sharply reduce its domestic carbon emissions in the coming decades, it also says it will continue to pump and sell petroleum to others for as long as demand exists.

The Sverdrup field is expected to remain in production for at least a half century, according to Equinor’s plan. 


Most Mideast stocks in red ahead of earnings season

Most Mideast stocks in red ahead of earnings season
Updated 17 January 2021

Most Mideast stocks in red ahead of earnings season

Most Mideast stocks in red ahead of earnings season
  • Egypt’s bluechip index eased 0.1 percent, with top lender Commercial International Bank shedding 1.2 percent

DUBAI: Most major stock markets in the Middle East ended lower on Sunday, ahead of the usual flurry of quarterly and full-year corporate results over the next few weeks, with the Qatari index leading the losses.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index lost 0.3 percent, with petrochemicals company Saudi Basic Industries shedding 1.3 percent, and Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services closing 1.7 percent lower.

Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf region’s financial markets, retreated by more than 2 percent on Friday as concerns about renewed Chinese coronavirus lockdowns tempered a rally driven by strong import data from the world’s biggest crude importer.  Dubai’s main share index fell 0.3 percent, driven down by a 0.5 percent drop for blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.6 percent decline in shares of Emaar Malls. The Abu Dhabi index, however, closed 0.3 percent up, with Etisalat rising 1.1 percent while Aldar Properties finished with a 0.9 percent gain.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, has agreed on a deal to produce and export hydrogen as fuel, its state media office said on Sunday.

The Qatar index dropped 0.5 percent, with most stocks in negative territory, including a 0.8 percent decline for petrochemicals producer Industries Qatar.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index eased 0.1 percent, with top lender Commercial International Bank shedding 1.2 percent.