Preliminary numbers for the output of the Norwegian Continental Shelf indicate that the production during the first month of the calendar year surpassed expectations by 2.87%. Total production of the North Sea for the month of January 2014 summed to 19.5 million cubic meters (m3) according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD). However, the North Sea output declined on both year-on-year (decline of 1.61%) and month-on-month (decline of 1.06%) basis.
Oil output increased YoY
The numbers released by the NPD show an average daily production of about 1,948,000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate. This was nearly 1.7% above previous month levels and 3.9% above January 2013 levels.
“The average daily liquid production in January was: 1 568 000 barrels of oil, 314 000 barrels of NGL and 65 000 barrels of condensate,” reports the NPD. Crude oil output was 6.4% higher YoY which was even 2% above expectations.
Figure 1: Crude oil output, actual versus forecast
Gas sales experience a downward trajectory
“Total gas sales were about 9.9 billion m3, which is 0.3 million m3 less than the previous month,” reports the NPD. The gas output was primarily driven down by reduced production numbers from Draugen, Ekofisk, Gullfaks and Skuld.
Figure 2: Gas output, actual versus forecast
Total output to average the same in 2014
The total output of North Sea is expected to decline through the coming months but is expected to revive by the end of the year to 20.012 million m3. However, it is important to note the accuracy of previous forecasts of the NPD, and one should keep this in mind when using these estimates for North Sea output to determine future supply.
Figure 3: Oil and gas production forecast for 2014