the production of Norwegian natural gas at maximum capacity

As a Third World exporter of natural gas and second supplier to the Old Continent, Norway has pledged to do whatever it takes to help Europeans reduce their dependence on Russian fuel. On Wednesday, March 16th, the Scandinavian oil monarchy announced measures to increase its supplies. However, its room for maneuver is limited for the time being, while its production and exports of natural gas are already near peak levels.

Norway supplies between 20% and 25% of the gas imported by the Europeans and British, versus 45% to 50% of Russian gas. In 2021, the Nordic country of 5.4 million people exported 113.2 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe and the United Kingdom, the third largest annual shipment since Norway’s continental shelf came on stream in the 1970s.

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To help Europeans wean themselves off Russian hydrocarbons, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in Oslo decided on Wednesday to change the operating licenses for three offshore reservoirs. “These decisions will not significantly increase total daily gas exports from the Norwegian continental shelf, but will allow the current high level of supplies to be maintained in the future.”he specified.

The 67% state-owned oil company Equinor unveiled measures that will enable it to do so in the coming months “keep the high level of winter production”, said Kjetil Hove, Director of Norwegian Operations. Located in the North Sea southwest of Norway, the Oseberg field will increase its production by 15% to 20%, reaching 7 billion cubic meters by September 30, when annual maintenance work begins, ie 1 billion more than originally planned.

The gas pipeline Baltic Pipe under construction

Further north, in the Norwegian Sea, the Heidrun field is expected to increase production by 30%, equivalent to 0.4 billion cubic meters of additional gas. According to Equinor, “1.4 billion cubic meters of gas cover the needs of 1.4 million European households for one year”. In addition, the Troll field in the North Sea has the right to increase its production up to 1 billion cubic meters should that of other wells in the region fall.

Back in September 2021, the Scandinavian country pledged to increase its natural gas exports at the request of its European and UK customers as prices hit record highs.

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