Norwegian energy operator Equinor has announced that, alongside its partners and Norwegian authorities, it will bump up natural gas output to Europe in the coming months, providing greater quantities of the energy source to try and offset booming prices and supply shortages.
Increased production permits issued by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy will allow Equinor to maintain high production levels at its Troll, Oseberg, and Heidrun gas fields. Following these permits, the Oseberg and Troll fields will increase exports by around one billion cubic metres (bcm), while the Heidrun field will increase gas exports by 0.4bcm for the 2022 calendar year.
The group’s Hammerfest LNG unit is also scheduled to come online from mid-May this year, providing more than 6bcm of gas per year from the Barents Sea.
With these increases in gas production, it is hoped that Norway will be able to fill the gaps left by the loss of Russian imports as sanctions against the nation come into effect.
“Our focus is to maintain safe and efficient operations on our facilities, remaining a reliable supplier of energy to the markets in Europe in a highly challenging situation. In close dialogue with the authorities and our partners, we are now taking steps to maintain the high production level from the winter,” said Kjetil Hove, executive vice president of exploration and production Norway at Equinor.
Earlier this week, Equinor announced it would be halting all trade of Russian oil and oil products, in solidarity with other energy majors who have cut ties with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. While the market disruption has led to soaring oil and gas prices, other nations are stepping up their output to try and lessen the brunt of supply shortages.
“In this highly challenging situation, we do our utmost to deliver as much as possible to our customers, enabling them to provide homes and companies with gas,” says Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of marketing, midstream, and processing at Equinor.
According to Equinor, Norway currently contributes to 25% of gas demand in the EU and Britain, and is the seventh largest gas producer in the world.