Natural gas exports to Europe from both Russia and Norway reached record levels in 2017, independent oil and gas consulting services Rystad Energy announced on Wednesday.
In 2017, Russian exports to Europe, including Turkey, reached 194 billion cubic meters (bcm) while Norway’s exports to Europe amounted to 122 bcm, according to an analysis carried out by Rystad Energy.
In accordance with the analysis, Russia’s natural gas exports increased to 194 bcm with more than 15 bcm year-on-year, while Norway increased its exports by 9 bcm, reaching 122 bcm.
“The higher exports have provided reliable supply for Europe and give an indication that the strategy followed by both Russia and Norway has been to maintain their market share, benefiting European consumers as prices in northwest Europe have remained rather stable. This has also kept new U.S. supplies of LNG out of the region, enabling American gas to meet increasing demand in Asia and Latin America, Carlos Torres-Diaz, Rystad Energy’s vice president of gas markets, was quoted as saying.
While both countries showed upward output trends since 2014, the company, headquartered in Oslo, projects that Russia will further strengthen its dominant position, while Norwegian output is poised to decline in the coming years.
In terms of Russia’s gas production, Torres-Diaz commented that with the ramp-up and expansion of the Yamal LNG plant and the completion of the Power of Siberia pipeline, exports to Asia are expected to increase.
Moreover, he highlighted that the increased production, coupled with the continuation of Gazprom’s Nord Stream-II and TurkStream pipeline projects, leaves large potential for even higher exports to Russia’s main market, Europe.
In addition, the company expects a decline by 10 bcm by 2020 for annual output from several key gas fields in Norway, compared to 2017 levels. However, this will only be partially offset by the 8.6 bcm increase in projected annual gas output in the same period from the startup of the Aasta Hansteen field, located 300 kilometers from land, northwest of Sandnessjoen in Nordland county in Norway. Similarly, production in other European countries is expected to continue to decline.
Rystad Energy is an independent oil and gas consultancy and business intelligence data firm offering global databases, strategy consulting and research products.
By Firdevs Yuksel