Norway to attend OPEC+ meeting on Thursday – oil ministry

Norway, Western Europe’s largest oil producer, will attend Thursday’s video conference meeting of the OPEC+ group, which is set to discuss output cuts in a bid to support prices amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the country’s oil ministry said on Thursday.

Non-OPEC Norway, which meets about 2% of global oil demand, will be represented by a top civil servant attending the meeting as an observer only, in line with its long established precedent.

The Nordic country has made it clear it stands ready to make unilateral cuts to its oil output if a broad deal is agreed between other major producers, but has not said how big those reductions could be.

The country’s crude oil output stood at 1.75 million barrels per day in February, up 26% from a year ago, the latest available data shows. Including condensate and natural gas liquids (NGL), the oil liquids production was 2.1 million bpd.

OPEC members, Russia and other producers, a group known as OPEC+, have agreed to return to the bargaining table after a supply deal collapsed in March, but the final agreement depends on whether the United States and other nations contribute to the cuts, sources said.

Norway will be represented by Lars Erik Aamot, the Director General of the Ministry’s Oil and Gas Department, the oil ministry said in an email to Reuters.

The country’s Oil Minister Tina Bru will attend the extraordinary G20 energy ministers’ meeting on Friday, the ministry added.

Norway cut its output between 1986 and 1990 as well as from 1998 to 2000, and again during the first half of 2002 after oil prices fell to below $20 a barrel following the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

Analysts at Oslo-based Rystad Energy said they expected Norway to cut output by 100,000-150,000 bpd this time, targeting older fields with high operational costs.