The Norwegian government has said an influx of investment should support oil and natural gas production gains, helping Europe meet its energy security needs. Photo courtesy of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
January 9 (UPI) — Benefiting from gains in crude oil and natural gas production, the Norwegian government said on Monday it was in a strong position to help bolster European energy security.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the country’s energy regulator, said total production in 2022 was 4 million barrels per day on an oil equivalent basis. Crude oil production just for November, the last full month for which the government has data, averaged 1.7 million bpd, while natural gas production was 3.7 billion cubic feet per day. »
“Production is extremely high and will continue to grow in the years to come,” the NPD said.
The NPD now estimates that natural gas accounts for more than half of all fossil fuels extracted from Norwegian waters. In total, the government estimates that natural gas production last year was 13 billion cubic feet per day.
The Appalachian Basin, the most prolific shale natural gas basin in the United States, produces about 35 billion cubic feet per day, by comparison. But with the loss of Russian crude oil and natural gas due to Western-backed sanctions imposed for its aggression in Ukraine, it is the United States and Norway that are grabbing a chunk of the European market.
Torgeir Stordal, chief executive of the NPD, said Norway had strengthened itself as a predictable, long-term supplier to the European economy and productivity in 2023 should not disappoint.
The NDP has 13 new development plans to liquidate and expects some $30 billion in investment in the sector. This could bring in even more oil and gas this year.
“These are remarkable investments for the future,” Stordal said. “This will help ensure that Norway can continue to be a reliable supplier of energy for Europe.
Much of what remains off Norway is in the freezing waters of the Barents Sea, where the government sees huge upside potential. In December, Norwegian energy company Equinor said the first phase of operations at the Askeladd field was to send more natural gas to the Hammerfest liquefied natural gas plant on the island of Melkoya, just south of the Arctic Circle.
Hammerfest under normal conditions accounts for around 5% of total Norwegian natural gas exports, which is enough to satisfy the demand of around 6.5 million average European households.
“The disappearance of Russian gas from the European market led to an increased demand for Norwegian gas, which made Norway the largest supplier in Europe at the end of last year,” the NPD added.
Norway, on the other hand, is unique among major oil and gas producers in that it powers its economy almost entirely from renewable resources such as wind and hydroelectric power. The government has said this could expand further after hiring two geological data companies to map the shallow waters of its continental shelf for potential wind power deployment.
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