Oil output normalizing

February 7, 2001, 00:00 CET

Extreme cold gripping Norway since Saturday has eased and petroleum production on several Hydro offshore installations is returning to normal.

The Snorre og Vigdis oil production operations in the North Sea are expected to resume normal output of some 275,000 barrels per day (bpd) later today. Lost output due to production reductions during the cold spell is estimated at about 250,000 barrels.

Oil production on the Njord platform in the Norwegian Sea, which normally exceeds 75,000 bpd, is still reduced to just 5,000 bpd because the unit's gas compressors are out of operation. Output will likely return to normal during the next day or two.

Production on the Oseberg field center in the North Sea, which normally averages 200,000 bpd, has been cut to just 30,000 bpd during the past few days due to the shut down of the onshore Sture wet gas terminal. The Sture facility is expected to resume normal operations sometime today and the Oseberg field center will follow shortly thereafter.

The Troll B platform in the North Sea is close to full production of 195,000 bpd after a reduction in output early yesterday.

Hydro's export of natural gas was also hit by the cold, but is expected to resume normal operations later today. Gas transport to Europe from the Oseberg D installation via the Heimdal riser platform was shut down Sunday night due to problems operating pipeline valves on the latter unit. Gas export through the system normally runs between 7-9 million cubic meters of gas daily.