The Norwegian energy ministry has today announced approval for gas producer Aker BP to bump exports from its Skarv gas field, a site that usually sees almost half of its output channelled back into the reservoir to boost oil production, as part of Norway’s efforts to meet European energy demand.
The decision comes as gas prices have skyrocketed, with energy companies navigating how to cope with rising costs.
Discovered in 1998, Skarv has an estimated ultimate recovery of over 1.5 trillion cubic feet of rich gas and around 100 million barrels of oil. According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the field produced eight billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas last year, but only sold 4.5bcm. Located in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea, the Skarv field sends gas to the Kaarstoe processing plant in Susort before it’s exported to Europe.
Norway is currently the third largest exporter of natural gas globally, coming in after Russia and Qatar. With sanctions boycotting receipt of Russia energy products, the Scandinavian nation has been highlighted as a potential answer to meeting the energy demands of Western nations as they grapple with market gaps. Since Western nations such as the UK and US announced their decision to sanction Russian energy imports, Norway has announced it will step up production to help rebalance the market.
The nation is also considering construction of a hydrogen pipeline alongside Germany to further reduce reliance on Russia for energy supplies, and brought in a fresh spate of sanctions against the country at the end of last week.
“It is important to continue exerting pressure on President Putin and the individuals and entities who gain the most from and support his regime,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt wrote in a statement on the new sanctions.
She added: “We are introducing sanctions together with the EU and other countries to ensure that they have maximum effect.”