* Oil output at 1.6 mln bpd in 2012, 1.5 mln in 2016 -NPD
* Sees gas output at 106.7 bln m3 in 2012, 112.1 bln in 2016
* Sees giant North Sea oil find at prelim. 1.8 bln barrels (Adds quotes, figures, detail)
By Balazs Koranyi and Henrik Stolen
STAVANGER, Norway, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Norway’s oil production will decline despite major discoveries made last year, while gas production will continue to rise, Norwegian authorities said on Monday.
The oil prospects of Norway, the world’s eighth-largest oil exporter and the second-largest for gas, have brightened up over the past year as a giant oil find was made in the North Sea and three major ones were made in the Norwegian Arctic.
Norway will produce 1.6 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) in 2012, compared with 1.7 million bpd in 2011, falling further to 1.5 million in 2016, due to depleting reserves in mature fields, estimated the agency, which manages Norway’s oil and gas resources.
It is expected to produce 106.7 billion cubic metres of gas in 2012, compared with 101.3 billion sold last year, rising to 112.1 billion in 2016, as the share of gas in Norway’s remaining reserves rises to 50 percent in 2016 from 46 percent in 2011.
In 2011 Norway sold five billion cubic metres of gas less than expected. Statoil, the top oil and gas producer, said it deferred some of last year’s gas sales to this year as it expected higher prices in 2012.
Regarding the giant North Sea oil find, called Aldous/Avaldsnes, the NPD said on Monday that it could contain some 1.8 billion barrels in reserves, placing the find in the lower range of previous estimates putting it at between 1.7 and 3.3 billion barrels.
“The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s preliminary estimates of the discovery are about 1,800 million barrels of oil equivalent,” it said in a statement.
“However, the NPD emphasises that this figure is uncertain, and six or seven new appraisal well are planned during 2012.” (Writing by Gwladys Fouche, editing by William Hardy)