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10

Norway Dropped in the Biggest Crude Exporters Rating

Norway dropped to fifth place among the world's crude oil exporters

Norway dropped to fifth place among the world's crude oil exporters last year as the nation's North Sea production declined, the Norwegian energy ministry said, Bloomberg reported.

The United Arab Emirates replaced Norway as the world's third-largest exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia, Sissel Edvardsen, a spokeswoman for the ministry, said today in an interview. Iran currently holds fourth place, she said.

Edvardsen declined to give specific figures for each nation's export levels in 2006 and said the ranking was based on ``figures we use at the ministry.''

Norway's crude oil output fell 7.8 percent last year as companies such as Statoil ASA and Norsk Hydro ASA struggled to replace dwindling oil supplies at aging North Sea fields. The nation is developing natural-gas deposits including Ormen Lange in the Norwegian Sea, set to make Norway the world's second- largest gas exporter after it starts production in October.

"Norway's becoming a gas nation instead of an oil nation,'' said Bjoern Inge Toennessen, an analyst at DnB NOR Markets in Oslo.