Norway will continue to pump the current high volumes of natural gas for at least another five years as operators have pledged $30.3 billion (300 billion Norwegian crowns) to develop new fields and extend the lifetimes of producing fields, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Monday.
“These are remarkable investments for the future. This will help ensure that Norway can continue to be a reliable supplier of energy to Europe”, said NPD Director General Torgeir Stordal.
“Only rarely have we seen so much oil and gas produced on the Norwegian shelf as was the case last year – and only rarely have we seen such significant investment decisions,” the NPD said in its yearly overview of the production and investment activity on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
In 2022, Norway’s gas production was 9 billion standard cubic meters higher compared with 2021. Gas now accounts for more than half of production from the shelf, the Norwegian authority said.
“Production is extremely high, and it will continue to grow in the years to come. Gas production is projected to remain at around 2022 levels for the next four to five years,” the directorate said.
The consistently high production has been the result of the higher number of producing fields, as several start-ups took place last year, as well as older fields producing longer and producing more than previously expected, according to the NPD.
Natural gas production in Norway, which supplies around 25% of the gas consumed in the EU and the UK, was expected to rise by 8 percent in 2022 compared to 2021, government estimates showed at the end of 2022.
In the summer of 2022, Norway’s authorities approved applications from operators to boost production from several operating gas fields, to allow higher gas production as its key partners, the EU and the UK, scrambled for gas supply ahead of the winter.
Last year, Norway became Germany’s single-largest natural gas supplier, overtaking Russia, as total German gas imports dropped by 12.3% compared to 2021, the German Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur, said last week. Norway provided 33% of the gas Germany imported last year, followed by Russia, whose share fell to 22% for last year, compared to a 52% share in 2021, the German regulator said.