Norway gas export could hit record this year, energy minister says

Offshore oil and gas platform supply vessel is docked at a pier in Stavanger
An offshore oil and gas platform supply vessel is docked at a pier in Stavanger, Norway, August 9, 2021. REUTERS/Nerijus Adomaitis

SANDEFJORD, Norway, May 9 (Reuters) - Norway's gas export is set to rise by 8% this year to a total of 122 billion cubic metres (bcm), possibly beating a record set five years ago as the country ramps up delivery amid a shortage in Europe, the Norwegian energy minister said on Monday.

While some of the increase will come from the imminent restart of the Hammerfest LNG plant, which has been offline since a fire in 2020, the largest part will come from rising pipeline exports, Terje Aasland told an energy conference.

Equinor (EQNR.OL) and other petroleum firms in Norway have sought to increase production this year as the war in Ukraine caused an energy crunch in Europe. read more

Official forecasts released at the start of the year showed Norway had planned to export 115 bcm in 2022, lagging the record 122.37 bcm it exported in 2017, but this is now set to be exceeded.

"I won't be surprised if, when we meet here again (in early 2023), we can conclude that the 2017 record has fallen," Aasland said.

Norway primarily pipes its gas to receiving terminals in Britain, Germany, France and Belgium and will later this year also open a new pipeline to Poland.

Reporting by Nora Buli and Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Terje Solsvik

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.