Norway says still willing to cut oil output if OPEC+ plan implemented

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway, Western Europe’s largest oil producer, said on Saturday the country was still considering cutting oil production if the OPEC+ group implemented its plan.

“How any potential output cut will be carried out by Norway, and the size of it, we will have to come back to,” Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Efforts by top oil nations to reach a deal on cuts of up to 15 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) hit a roadblock on Friday when Saudi Arabia and Mexico failed to agree during a G20 meeting of energy ministers.

But the meeting, in which Bru participated, had still provided important context, she said.

Norway, which is not a member of OPEC, OPEC+ or the G20 group of major nations, was asked to participate in Friday’s conference as it represents around 2% of global oil output.

Norway’s crude output stood at 1.75 million bpd in February, up 26% from a year ago. Including condensate and natural gas liquids (NGL), oil liquids production was 2.1 million bpd.

“At the meeting I said Norway will consider a unilateral Norwegian cut in oil output, on the condition that the deal between the OPEC+ countries on output reduction is implemented,” Bru said.

Norway has restrained its oil output several times in the past, including from 1986 to 1990 and again in 1998-2000 and in the first half of 2002, always in tandem with others when prices fell.

The country’s annual crude oil production peaked at 3.1 million bpd in 2000 before slipping to a 30-year low of 1.4 million bpd in 2019.

The government forecasts a rebound for crude to above 2 million bpd by 2024 however, not counting NGL or condensate, as large new fields come on stream, and Norway has also seen a surge in gas production over the last two decades.

Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, writing by Victoria Klesty, editing by Terje Solsvik, Toby Chopra and David Evans