Norwegian liquids output fell back m/m in April, by 37 thousand b/d to 2.11 mb/d. Nevertheless, output was higher y/y by 79 thousand b/d. Output in May and June will be sharply higher y/y as last year’s maintenance was loaded towards Q2, compared to Q3 this year. Loading programmes rose from 1.34 mb/d in April to 1.41 mb/d in May, driven by record-high Grane volumes (0.28 mb/d), before falling back in June to 1.32 mb/d, led by a 45 thousand b/d m/m reduction in Gullfaks loadings to 0.11 mb/d. Indeed, Gullfaks A and B will undergo maintenance for 14 and 11 days, respectively, from 1 June, although Gullfaks C will remain online. Total Gullfaks output averaged 40 thousand b/d in 2016. If fields tied back to Gullfaks A are also impacted, then the total outage in June could rise further, affecting roughly 80 thousand b/d across the month, thereby reducing the effects of the high base. The largest works are being carried out at the troublesome 0.1 mb/d Goliat field for up to four weeks in September. Goliat has faced a series of technical issues since its start-up in Q1 16, and it is hoped that extended works will iron out its teething problems. Elsewhere, 10-12 days of works are pencilled in at the 39 thousand b/d Skarv field in Q3 17, while the 75 thousand b/d Gudrun field will be offline for six days in August.
So far this year, production has proved resilient amid rising decline rates, boosted by rapid ramp-ups from newer fields such as Edvard Grieg, Goliat and Ivar Aasen (combined March output of 0.23 mb/d). In addition, production from Alvheim has witnessed a renaissance, thanks to the late-2016 start-up of the Viper-Kobra tiebacks. Alvheim production averaged 88 thousand b/d over Q1 17, compared with an average of 57 thousand b/d across 2016. As a result, Norwegian output in 2017 should only be flat-to-10 thousand b/d lower y/y.