Norway will allow increased production from its biggest natural gas field as Europe’s second-largest supplier of the fuel prepares for increased competition with Russia and the US. More specifically, the production permit for Troll gas field was increased 10% for the gas year starting October 1st, according to field operator Statoil. Norway last year installed two new compressors at the North Sea field, ending technical issues that previously limited capacity and helping supply record volumes to Europe, Bloomberg reported.
The higher limit may help Norway to catch up with Russia, the top European gas supplier, which has said it will exceed its 2013 export record this year.
The two nations can send fuel to Europe at a lower cost than the US, which in February began shipments by tanker from the Gulf of Mexico coast.
With European gas prices near their lowest since 2009 moving closer to those in the US, American shale gas has favored markets in Brazil and India.
It was also reported by RigZone that Norway is evaluating the potential for building a pipeline from the Barents Sea to meet future demand in Europe, its gas system operator Gassco stated.
The decision to build a pipeline will depend on the exploration results in the Barents Sea, Gassco added. Any plans for a new pipeline could be complicated, however, by ongoing litigation between JV Gassled’s private partners and the Norwegian government over its decision to cut gas transportation tariffs.
Currently, Norway meets about 25% of Europe’s gas needs, competing with Russia for top place. Demand from the European region is expected to rise over the next 20 years due to policies to mitigate climate change.