Norway's oil and gas production in March lagged behind official estimates, according to preliminary data released by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) on Tuesday.
Crude oil production dropped 1.1% in March, to 1.77 million barrels per day (bpd), compared to the NPD's estimate of 1.79 million bpd for the month.
The 1.77 million bpd production level is still 3.8% higher than in March of the previous year.
Norway's total oil liquids output in March reached 2.09 million bpd, including natural gas liquids (NGL) and condensate.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Norway's total liquids output is expected to exceed 2.3 million bpd by the end of 2021, the highest in more than a decade and higher than the NPD's estimate of 2.17 million bpd.
The rise will be fueled by increasing production from Western Europe's largest oilfield, Johan Sverdrup operated by Equinor, as well as the startup of new fields, the IEA said in its Oil Market Report for March.
Having already pumped above 500,000 bpd in early 2021, Sverdrup's daily production is expected to reach 535,000 bpd by midyear, 85,000 bpd above original expectations, the IEA said.
By Sibel Morrow