Norway’s gas output reached record levels last month as a cold snap across Europe triggered larger-than-expected demand.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said the country’s gas production for January increased by 6% to 10.6 billion cubic metres (bcm) compared with 10bcm in December 2009, reports Reuters.

In January, the UK had to curb industrial demand by issuing four gas balancing alerts including temporary shutdown of the Statoil Troll field and difficulties at the Ormen Lange gas field as supply slowed down because of unusually cold weather.

NPD said Norway’s oil output slightly fell to 1.99 million barrels per day (bpd) in January, compared with two million bpd in December as technical problems resulted in low output from the Tordis and Vale fields.

The NPD predicts an increase in Norway’s gas sales to 105bcm this year compared with 99.3bcm in 2009, while oil production is expected to fall as North Sea fields reach maturity.