OSLO — Record oil output last month pushed Norway past Britain and made it Europe's largest oil producer for the first time, according to a published report today.
Norway pumped a record 1.57 million barrels a day in May, contrasted with an estimated 1.43 million barrels produced by Britain, which closed several North Sea fields due to accidents and maintenance problems, the business newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv said.
Official figures are to be released in July.
Oil Ministry spokesman Egil Helle said the 40% increase over the May, 1988, production level irritated some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which hopes to stabilize prices by limiting supplies. Norway is not a member of OPEC.