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As Europe moves closer to a ban on Russian oil, the voices to replace Russian gas continue to grow louder, with Norway’s Gassco pipeline operator saying on Wednesday that it could end up exporting a record 117 billion cubic meters to Europe in 2022, Reuters reports.
Gassco has not hit numbers like that since 2017.
"I think we will see it (in) that range and I will not be surprised if it's a bit over," Reuters cited Gassco Chief Executive Frode Leversund as saying.
Measured by export value, Gassco also enjoyed high gas prices in 2021, leading to a new record for annual volumes of gas delivered, according to a company press release.
For 2021, Gassco delivered a total of 113.2 billion cubic meters (Bcm) through the pipeline network, up by six Bcm from the year before. Norway delivered approximately one-quarter of Europe’s natural gas last year.
For March, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said gas production had increased “significantly”, reaching nearly 317 million standard cubic meters per day, or 6.3% higher than planned and 6% more than year-ago production.
Norway’s energy giant, Equinor ASA, reported earnings early Wednesday, soundly beating analyst expectations with help from an energy crunch that has resulted from Russia’s war on Ukraine and subsequent sanctions that have sent prices soaring. The company reported net income of $1.46 per share, and earnings adjusted for non-recurring costs at $1.60 per share. Q1 profits soared to $4.71 billion, with revenue of just over $36 billion.
Norway, the second-largest supplier to the EU after Russia, in March resumed construction on a new 10 bcm pipeline to Poland via Denmark after a nine-month suspension. The Baltic Pipe is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com