Norsk Hydro, the second largest Norwegian oil group, has said that oil and gas output will increase by eight percent a year through to 2005 after buying offshore stakes from the Norwegian government in March.
Hydro aims to pump oil and gas equal to 455,000 barrels of oil a day this year, up from a previous target of 430,000 barrels. The forecast includes first half output cuts to comply with the Norwegian pact with the OPEC group to trim production to bolster crude oil prices.
The company, which also makes aluminum and fertilizers, has paid 3.45 billion kroner ($345 million) for stakes in eight of the oil and gas fields up for auction, boosting output by about 35,000 barrels, or about eight percent, a day for the reminder of the year, while adding about sixty thousand barrels a day to its 2005 output.
The former state assets also “help us improve margins,” said Tore Torvund, who heads Hydro's oil and energy division, at a presentation in Oslo yesterday.