Norway's oil, gas production seen falling in 2013 -NPD

STAVANGER, Norway Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:06am EST

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STAVANGER, Norway Jan 11 (Reuters) - Oil production in Norway, the world's eighth biggest exporter, is expected to fall this year before recovering towards the end of the decade, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Friday.

Oil output is expected to fall to 538 million barrels in 2013 from last year's 561 million and will rise to 572 million in 2017, the NPD predicted.

Gas sales, are expected to fall to 106.5 billion cubic metres in 2013 and 111.2 billion in 2017 from last year's record 114.8 billion.

The NPD, a conservative forecaster, also lifted the basis estimate on the giant Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea, predicting it holds 1.9 billion barrels, up from a previous 1.8 billion barrel estimate.

Sverdrup's operators Statoil and Lundin Petroleum earlier estimated the field's size between 1.7 billion and 3.3 billion barrels, and plan to refine that estimate by the end of this year.

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