The European Union and Norway have agreed to strengthen cooperation to increase the supply of Norwegian gas to EU member states, according to a joint statement issued after a meeting between European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland.
The statement reports on the strengthening of cooperation on short-term and long-term gas supplies.
“There is great potential for increased sales to Europe in 2022, which would bring additional energy of around 100 TWh (terawatt hours) to the European market.”
Norway has already increased its production
Norway has begun to increase its production in response to the gas shortage in Europe. It has previously said it expects to increase gas sales by 8% to 122 billion cubic meters this year. This means that almost all of the new production will go to the EU. Norwegian supplies now cover about 20% of EU gas consumption, while the share of Russian supplies before the attack on Ukraine was about 40%.
Russia is still limiting supplies
The problems with Russian gas started after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions by the West on Russia. To protect its state currency, the ruble, and to show possible leverage, Russia has made payment for its main export commodities in rubles mandatory. This was rejected by Poland and Bulgaria, who were cut off from Russian gas in the wake of the move.
This was followed by turning off the taps to Finland and the Netherlands. In Finland, for example, the reason was largely due to Finland’s consideration of joining NATO.
Last week, supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany were significantly reduced. Here it was reportedly a delay in the repair of compression turbines by Siemens Energy. However, German Minister Robert Habeck described this as a politically motivated move.
On Wednesday, there was an appeal from the International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol for Europe, warning against a complete disruption of Russian gas supplies during the winter.