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27 Oct, 2022 05:16

Norway explains opposition to Russian gas price cap

Such a move could exacerbate shortages across Europe, Oslo warns
Norway explains opposition to Russian gas price cap

Norway is against the EU proposal of setting an artificial price ceiling on Russian natural gas, according to the country’s Oil and Energy Ministry.

This could exacerbate the problem Europe already faces, namely gas shortages,” Stein Grimsrud, a ministry spokesman, told the Izvestia news outlet.

Norway has become a key gas supplier for the EU after Russian flows dwindled due to sanctions and technical problems. The share of gas imported to the bloc from Russia has dropped from 41% to 9% since the beginning of the year, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson recently said. Norway used to be the EU’s second-largest gas supplier, covering around 20% of its needs. This summer Oslo approved permits for gas extraction at seven new offshore fields to increase gas production in 2022 by 8% compared with 2021.

The ministry also confirmed that it plans to supply about 122 billion cubic meters of gas to the EU this year. By comparison, prior to 2022, Russia used to supply about 130 billion cubic meters by pipeline and 20 billion cubic meters in the form of LNG to the bloc annually.

Some analysts, however, note that Norway does not have the capacity to supply enough gas to the EU to cover the loss of Russian flows.

Norway is unable to solve the ongoing energy crisis because a serious expansion of its exports is impossible due to limited reserves. We also note that Norway has increased its profits due to rising gas prices and has no plans to participate in setting a ceiling on gas prices. Oslo offers its European partners to work on the basis of long-term contracts,” the Russian embassy in Norway told Izvestia.

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