UPDATE 1-North Sea oil output to hit 8-month high in February

Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:55am EST
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* North Sea output to rise by 18 percent in February

* More stable Forties loadings help boost supply

* February's total on course to be highest since June

By Alex Lawler

LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - North Sea oil output from 12 production streams is set to rise by 18 percent in February due to strong supply from the UK's largest oilfield, which may weaken a source of support for Brent oil prices.

Output will average 2.06 million barrels per day (bpd), based on the latest revisions to loading schedules compiled by Reuters on Tuesday, up from 1.75 million bpd in January.

Swings in output from the North Sea can have a significant impact on world prices because the region is home to the dated Brent benchmark, used to price much of the world's physical oil and part of the underlying market for Brent futures.

"Supplies will be higher in February," said Eugene Lindell, senior crude analyst at JBC Energy in Vienna. "The higher availability of North Sea crude should take some of the sting out of the Brent market."