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Norway expects its oil production to decline in 2016 — official

February 17, 2016, 10:25 UTC+3 OSLO

Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela have agreed to freeze their oil production at January 2016 levels

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OSLO, February 17. /TASS/. Norway expects its oil production in 2016 will decline in comparison with 2015, Ella Ege Bye Morland, Senior Communication Adviser at Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, told TASS.

"We have registered media accounts that Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela have agreed to freeze their oil production at January 2016 levels. Norway has not participated in such discussions. The Norwegian oil production is at any rate expected to be lower in 2016 than last year," she said.·

In late January, the Norwegian authorities said they did not plan to take measures to regulate the country’s oil production. Norwegian oil industry experts said that the country’s position on this issue does not matter because even if Norway significantly reduces its oil output at its offshore fields the global market will hardly feel it.

In 2015, the Norwegian offshore oil production was little more than 570 million barrels of oil, which is a relatively small volume in comparison with 4 billion barrels and 3.7 billion barrels produced by Russia and Saudi Arabia respectively in the same period.

According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), in 2015 the oil companies operating in the offshore zone increased production by 3.6% year-on-year to 571.1 million barrels (551.6 million in 2014).

The experts at NPD believe that 2015 saw the peak in oil production and in the next five years the oil production off the Norwegian coast will fall and reach 504.5 million barrels by 2019. It will slightly increase only in 2020.

The main reason is the continuing reduction of investments in the Norwegian oil and gas industry. This year, investments fell 16% as compared to the record of 2014 - up to 150 billion kronor ($17 billion under the current exchange rate) and will decrease until 2019, according to forecast by NPD. At the same time it is expected that the development of new fields will help the country maintain production volumes.

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela said that in 2016 they are ready to maintain their oil production at the level of January, if other oil-producing countries (both members and non-members of the OPEC) join this initiative. Later, Kuwait agreed to join the initiative and maintain its oil production at the level of 3 million barrels per day.

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