Norsk Hydro Cuts Oil and Gas Production

Norsk Hydro Cuts Oil and Gas Production

Norsk Hydro ASA cut its 2006 oil and gas production target by 5 percent, or 30,000 barrels per day, on Friday, mainly due to delayed production.

The Oslo-based petroleum and light metals group now expects an average daily production of 585,000 barrels of oil equivalent, down from 615,000 barrels. Oil equivalents measure the energy content, rather than volume, of oil and natural gas.

Norsk Hydro said the delayed production was equally distributed between operations in Norway and abroad. It said 32 percent of the production was natural gas, and the rest was oil.

It said the high demand for oil services in the Gulf of Mexico after damage caused by the 2005 hurricane Katrina had slowed work on some of its U.S. projects.

The company also said mechanical problems at its partly owned Terra Nova field off eastern Canada had stopped production there until September.

Off Norway, there were also unexpected shutdowns on projects where Norsk Hydro has a stake, the company said in a statement.

Norsk Hydro shares declined 2.7 percent to 164.50 kroner (US$26.10, euro20.80) on the Oslo stock exchange.

The company is a key oil producer in Norway, which is the world’s third largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia.

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