March North Sea daily oil output to fall 7 pct

Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:02am EST
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* March daily output to average 1.902 mln bpd

* Overall volumes up 3 pct at 59.02 mln barrels

* Spring refinery maintenance will limit demand

By Claire Milhench

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - North Sea daily oil output tracked by Reuters is set to fall by 7 percent in March from February, but traders said this probably would not be enough to balance the market as refiners head into seasonal maintenance.

Output from 12 of the main British and Norwegian crude streams will average 1.902 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, down from a revised 2.046 million bpd in February.

But demand is already falling as refiners in Europe are beginning to enter spring turnarounds. Around 1 million bpd of refining capacity is expected to go offline in March and April, according to Reuters data and industry sources.

This is likely to weigh on North Sea crude differentials and Brent crude oil futures, traders and analysts said.   Continued...