(Adds plans for drilling rigs, production data for first 9-mo
OSLO Nov 25 Norway's oil and energy ministry
has approved a hike in the 2016 oil output quota of the North
Sea Troll field to 46.5 million barrels from 41.7 million,
giving it the highest output level since 2009, documents
obtained by Reuters showed on Friday.
Field operator Statoil requested an increase on
behalf of the license partners in September, and the ministry
granted it on Nov. 4, a letter from the ministry showed.
Troll produced 33.2 million barrels of oil during the first
nine months of 2016, according to data from Norway's Petroleum
The field is a major supplier of natural gas to Europe, and
the permitted oil output is tightly regulated to prevent a drop
in output from the gas reservoir.
Other partners in the field are Norway's state-owned Petoro,
Shell, Total and ConocoPhillips.
Separately, the ministry has approved Statoil's request to
reduce the number of drilling rigs working on wells at the Troll
field to three from four in 2017.
Statoil has said it would still be able to do the same
amount of drilling work as in 2015 and 2016 due to increased
The company was not immediately available to comment on
Troll output levels in 2017.
(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen and Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by