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9 Mar, 2022 09:21

Norway reveals whether it can increase gas exports to Europe

The Scandinavian country supplies around 20% of European natural gas, compared to Russia’s 45%
Norway reveals whether it can increase gas exports to Europe

Norway, the second-largest European supplier of natural gas, cannot boost energy supplies to the European Union, the Norwegian Prime Minister said on Tuesday.

Norway delivers to the maximum of its capacity,” Norwegian PM Jonas Gahr Støre explained amid discussions on whether Europe should try to become entirely independent from Russian energy.

The government is in contact with the companies in charge of production and exports via the gas pipelines, and they are delivering gas at maximum capacity today,” he said at a joint press conference with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Oslo. 

We cannot make a decision to increase from one day to the next because [production] is at the maximum on the existing fields”, Støre added.

According to official statistics, Norway supplies between 20 and 25 percent of the EU gas demand, making it the second largest supplier after Russia. Russia provides up to 45% of Europe’s gas, but the continent now wants to decrease its dependence on that energy as the response to Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine.

The two prime ministers also discussed the Baltic Pipe project. According to the leaders, the pipeline to transfer Norwegian gas directly to Poland was “almost” ready but wouldn’t be operational until the end of the year.

"We are almost done, but we do not think it can be ready earlier than October-November, experts have told me," Mateusz Morawiecki revealed during the press conference, emphasizing that it was essential for Poland to become independent from Russian energy, and that Norwegian gas played a large role in achieving this goal. 

On February 24, Russian troops launched an attack against Ukraine which the Russian authorities described as a “special military operation” aimed at “demilitarizing and denazifying” the country in order to protect the population of the Donetsk and Lugansk breakaway regions. Ukraine and its Western allies dismissed these claims as a pretext for “unprovoked” aggression against a sovereign state. The EU, NATO members and their allies worldwide have imposed severe economic sanctions on Russian officials and organizations in retaliation, including several countries banning Russian oil and gas exports.