Equinor Boosts Gas Exports
Equinor ASA is boosting natural gas exports to ease Europe’s supply crunch, sacrificing some oil production in the process.
The Norwegian giant has halted the re-injection of gas that had been used to boost oil output at the Gina Krog field, and will export the fuel instead, Equinor Chief Executive Officer Anders Opedal said in a Bloomberg TV interview on Wednesday.
In addition the company is ramping up production at other gas fields, including the giant Troll, and “can be a reliable provider of gas to the European and the U.K. market when we see these high prices,” Opedal said.
The change at Gina Krog will provide an extra 8 million cubic meters a day of gas, Equinor said by email. While this is a relatively small addition to Norway’s total supply, which exceeds 320 million cubic meters a day, every molecule of fuel will count in Europe this winter.
The continent’s gas inventories are at their lowest seasonal level in at least a decade. Flows from its biggest supplier, Russia, are capped and competition with Asia for liquefied natural gas cargoes is intense.
Both gas and oil prices will stay high this winter, assuming average weather conditions, Opedal said. The start of Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is considered a crucial way for Europe to top up its gas imports, is still “one of the uncertainties” for the market, he said. “So far, we haven’t seen much more gas coming from Russia.”
Oil demand is coming back to pre-pandemic levels, with consumption getting an extra boost as consumers switch to oil as an alternative to expensive gas, Opedal said.
--With assistance from Manus Cranny.
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