Norway to increase gas exports to Europe as prices skyrocket



The Equinor logo can be seen at the company’s headquarters in Stavanger, Norway on December 5, 2019. REUTERS / Ints Kalnins / File Photo

  • For a total hike of 2 bcm from October 1 for the next 12 months
  • Europe records record electricity prices

OSLO, Sept. 20 (Reuters) – Norway to allow Equinor (EQNR.OL) and partners to increase gas exports from two offshore fields over the next 12 months, amid concerns over a gas supply shortage European which has made prices soar.

Equinor, Europe’s second-largest gas supplier after Russian Gazprom (GAZP.MM), said on Monday the government was allowing a combined 2 billion cubic meters (bcm) increase in exports for the gas year starting October 1 from the fields of Troll and Oseberg. .

The increase corresponds to nearly 2% of Norway’s annual pipeline gas exports, according to Reuters calculations.

The first-month gas price at Dutch hub TTF, a European benchmark, has more than tripled this year to record highs, pushing up electricity prices as the winter heating season approaches with levels of gases in storage below average.

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“We believe this is timely as Europe faces an exceptionally tight natural gas market,” Equinor said. “We are working on measures to increase exports from our fields on the Norwegian continental shelf.”

The increase in exports, split evenly between Troll and Oseberg, will bring field volumes to 37 bcm and 6 bcm respectively, Equinor said.

Norway has exported around 106 billion m3 of natural gas to Europe via pipelines since October 1 last year. Exports for the previous gas year, which ended on September 30, 2020, totaled 105 billion cubic meters, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon.

The Norwegian government sets production quotas for Troll and some other large fields to ensure the country is able to maximize its production of crude oil and natural gas over time.

Equinor, TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA), ConocoPhillips (COP.N) and the public energy company Petoro all have stakes in both areas, while Shell (RDSa.L) has a stake in Troll only.

Additional reporting by Victoria Klesty Writing by Terje Solsvik Editing by Gwladys Fouché and Mark Potter

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