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Norway will continue to produce natural gas at the current high levels for the remainder of the decade, Norway's energy minister said on Tuesday.
To maintain that high level of natural gas production, the country has approved applications from operators to increase production from several gas fields, energy minister Terje Aasland told Reuters in an interview.
Norway is planning on producing 122 billion cubic meters of gas this year, according to May forecasts, up 8% from last year, with nat gas exports likely setting a new record this year. Norway's gas production could also set a new record this year.
Norway, which supplies the EU and UK with 20%-25% of their needed gas supplies, is expecting record natural gas sales via pipelines to Europe this year and has already overtaken Russia as the EU's biggest gas supplier.
The plans for increased production and exports come as Norway gains confidence in longer-term demand support as the EU looks to break away from Russia's natural gas supplies after the latter's invasion of Ukraine. It also comes as nat gas prices spiked in the EU as supplies are tight and this winter's supply outlook remains questionable.
But that doesn't mean Norway will introduce a windfall profits tax on its gas companies like some other countries.
"We are not having any discussions now about extra taxes. The additional revenue companies are potentially making now is forming the basis for future investments and the basis for the entire transformation of the energy sector," Aasland told Reuters.
Norway is expected to reap 100 billion euros this year from its oil and gas industry, but there have been some critics who suggest Norway should cap the price of its natural gas to Europe to aid Europe in its quest to steer clear of Russia's natural gas while not breaking the bank.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.