Norwegian liquids production fell y/y in June by 0.44 mb/d to 1.41 mb/d (-0.19 mb/d m/m) due to a heavy maintenance programme across the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Three weeks of maintenance work in the Greater Ekofisk Area resulted in crude oil production falling substantially, lower y/y by 0.42 mb/d to 1.07 mb/d, the lowest monthly print since August 1988. The size of the drop is a further indication that Norway continues to struggle with heavy underlying decline rates. The outages resulted in Norwegian seaborne exports hitting their lowest in more than three years in June, falling by 0.20 mb/d m/m to around 0.89 mb/d, with no significant movements leaving the UK’s Teesside terminal.
The outlook for July is more positive, with loadings expected to rise by 0.34 mb/d m/m to 1.1 mb/d as fields return from maintenance. Ekofisk loadings are scheduled higher m/m by 0.25 mb/d, with works having wrapped up by late June. Gullfaks loadings are set to be 73 thousand b/d higher m/m at 0.18 mb/d, the highest since 2016, and will stay at that level in August. This indicates maintenance at the Snorre field was completed by the end of June, and output will be rerouted from Statfjord to Gullfaks, with the Statfjord loading programme stagnating at just one cargo for July and one for August. Total Norwegian loadings in August are planned at 1.05 mb/d, lower m/m by 80 thousand b/d amid m/m falls from Ekofisk (-40 thousand b/d), Oseberg (-20 thousand b/d) and Grane (-20 thousand b/d). This should support Dated Brent in August and maintain the steady Grane premium to Dated, especially as Baltic Urals loadings are down by around 10% m/m in July.