Extreme cold hits Norwegian oil output

February 5, 2001, 00:00 CET

Extremely frigid temperatures in Norway the past few days has forced a reduction in oil production on Hydro installations.

The most significant  production cuts are on Hydro's Oseberg field center in the North Sea and Njord in the Norwegian Sea. Oseberg normally produces an average 200,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), but has been reduced to just 50,000 bpd due to persistent frost problems.

Oil production on Njord usually exceeds 75,000 bpd, but has been cut to only 5,000 bpd because gas compressors cannot function properly.

The Oseberg Øst platform was impacted Saturday by the slowdown of the Oseberg Center, but is now producing some 70,000 bpd. During this period there was 100,000 barrels less production on the installation due to the cold.

On Hydro's Troll B platform, production has been reduced from a normal output level of 195,000 bpd to about 137,000 bpd since Saturday.

On the Snorre field, two drilling rigs have been shut down because of snow and ice, but production is at normal levels.

The wet gas facility at the onshore Sture oil terminal west of Bergen was shut down from Saturday night to Sunday evening because of frost problems. The installation is now back in operation.