Norway's daily natural gas production is set to rise by 3% in 2024, while oil output is expected to decline by a similar volume, the Norwegian Offshore Directorate (NOD) said in its annual forecasts on Thursday.

Norway in 2022 overtook Russia as Europe's biggest gas supplier as Moscow's invasion of Ukraine severed decades-long energy ties. The Nordic country also partly replaced Russian oil barrels banned by the European Union.

The combined daily oil and gas output was set to remain steady at 4.01 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) this year, with gas production expected at 2.06 million boed and oil at 1.95 million boed, the NOD forecasts showed.

"The Norwegian continental shelf will be very important for energy security in Europe for many years to come. Due to high development activity, oil and gas production is expected to be stable in the coming years," the NOD said in a statement.

Norwegian gas output and export fell more than expected last year due to extensive maintenance at offshore fields and onshore terminals.

Full-year gas output fell 5.3% in 2023 to 116 billion cubic metres (bcm) from a record 122.5 bcm the previous year, NOD data showed.

Norway's annual gas output was seen at around 120 bcm in the years from 2024 to 2027, before declining to 117.4 bcm in 2028.

Oil output was seen rising to 2.1 million boed in 2025, boosted by the expected start of Equinor's Johan Castberg oilfield in the Barents Sea.

The 2028 forecast, published for the first time, showed Norway's oil output at 1.83 million boed.

Investments in oil and gas, including in producing fields, new developments, discoveries and exploration, were seen rising in 2024 to an eight-year high of 240 billion crowns ($23.22 billion) from 227 billion in 2023, NOD said.

"This is due, among other things, to high activity, a weaker Norwegian currency and cost growth," it added.

($1 = 10.3341 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Terje Solsvik)