N. Sea Production Cut By Freeze

Tuesday, February 06, 2001
Freezing weather in the North Sea has forced the shut-in of close to 600,000 bpd of Norwegian oil production and is hemming in another 470,000 bpd of UK output, operators said. Temperatures, which fell far below freezing over the weekend, were up close to zero Celsius on Tuesday and raising hopes that output would resume later in the day for Norway's platforms, which had shut in 400,000 bpd worth on Monday. In the UK sector of the North Sea, the Forties pipeline system was running more than half below capacity at just 330,000 bpd due to an automatic shut-down at the Unity platform. Normal Forties output is about 800,000 bpd. In Norway, Norsk Hydro suffered the most and was losing 300,000 bpd daily on Tuesday. Hydro's Njord platform has been closed since Saturday, cutting production to 5,000 bpd from 75,000, said company spokesman Dag Ofstad. The company now has problems with the Snorre and Vigdis platforms as well, accounting for another 205,000 bpd lost. - (Retuers)

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