Norway to boost natural gas exports to European Union

Jun 25, 2007 02:00 AM

Norway plans to increase its natural gas supplies to the European Union by up to 55 % by the middle of the next decade, the EU's energy commissioner said.
"This is important taking into account the expected growth of gas consumption and the need for additional gas supplies in the EU in the years to come," Andris Piebalgs said during his visit to the Nordic country.

The EU is pushing Norway to boost its gas supplies so the 27-member block can reduce its dependence on Russian oil and gas. Norway, which is not an EU member, has made a fortune on oil and gas deposits in the North Sea and is now exploring new finds in the Barents Sea it uneasily shares with Russia.
Piebalgs said gas supplies from Norway could grow to 125-140 bn cm per year by the middle of the next decade, up from the current 90 bn cm. Norwegian oil minister Odd Roger Enoksen said gas exports would increase later this year when new offshore fields come on line, including Ormen Lange in the North Sea and Snoehvit in the Barents.

Enoksen and Piebalgs also discussed carbon capture and storage technology used to prevent carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. They visited the Sleipner offshore field, where Norway has been storing carbon dioxide beneath the seabed for more than 10 years.
"Carbon capture and storage could contribute substantially in our efforts to reduce the world's CO2 emissions," Piebalgs said.

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