Wednesday, 14 September 2022 11:29

Terje Aasland: We will do our best to continue to deliver gas to the European market

Caspian Energy (CE):  Mr. Aasland, Norway is one of the major oil-gas produ­cers and exporters in the EU. What do you think about today’s energy crisis, which threatens to grow into a financial one?

Terje Aasland, Minister of Petroleum and Energy of Norway:  Norwegian companies are doing what they can to deliver as much oil and gas as they can to the market. Production is near the maximum daily capacity.

Our main contribution to the current crisis in the short term will therefore be to maintain the current high production of oil and gas through high uptime at fields in related transport infrastructure.

 This is a high priority for the gas produ­cers in Norway and is a strategy which the Ministry supports and facilitates.

CE: Can Norway physically replace the volume of oil and gas supplies from Russia?          

Terje Aasland: It is the companies ope­rating on the Norwegian continental shelf that are responsible for selling oil and gas they produce into the market on a purely commercial basis.

We have discussed Norway’s role as the sole large exporter of oil and gas in Europe with the European leaders, and there is close contact. They are well aware of that companies operating in Norway today produce and sell oil and gas on the market up to capacity. Our shared ambition is to maximize Norway’s contribution to Europe’s energy security by facilitating high daily deliveries of oil and gas from our fields also going forward, and to cooperate also on important issues for the ongoing energy transition.  

CE: How pressing are the climate change challenges and the impact of oil production on it in Norway?  

Terje Aasland: In the current situation, the most important thing we do is to produce at maximum. Norway produces oil and gas with very low CO2 emissions and our target is to further reduce the emissions by 50% within 2030.  We will do our best to continue to deliver gas to the European market.

We have just stepped up our cooperation with the EU to ensure the industrial changes we need to supply more renewable energy to Europe – and to capture and safely store large quantities of CO2. Norway is a leading player on carbon capture and storage technology – we are close to a complete value chain with transport and storage under the seabed in the North Sea. Capacity to store all of Europe´s CO2 for a century.

 We have also ambitious plans for ocean wind, including floating wind turbines. The goal is to ensure generation of 30 000 MW offshore wind at the Norwegian continental shelf by 2040.

 We build on the experience gained over 50 years of oil and gas exploration under the harsh conditions in the North Sea. This is a textbook example of how we transform Norwegian oil and gas competence to the low emission society. The transformation goes on across our industries – green aluminum and green shipping are other examples.

CE: Does Norway plan to invest in offshore oil and gas exploration on an international scale and in the North Sea?

Terje Aasland: It’s the companies within the oil and gas sector, not Norway/Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, who invest on the Norwegian continental shelf in the North Sea. The authorities approve plans for development and operations, and we have received a total of eight plans for development and operations during 2021, which is positive for the level of activity going forward.

CE: Which companies are actively engaged on the Norwegian shelf today?

Terje Aasland: Equinor Energy AS is among companies actively engaged on the Norwegian shelf today. It is operating production on Aasta Hansteen (Norwegian Sea), Alve (Norwegian Sea), Asgard (Norwegian Sea), Urd (Norwegian Sea), Tyrihans (Norwegian Sea), Trestakk (Norwegian Sea), Skuld (Norwegian Sea), Johan Castberg (Barents Sea, approved for production), Byrding (North Sea), Fram H-Nord (North Sea), Fram (North Sea), Gimle (North Sea), Gina Krog(North Sea), Grane(North Sea), Gudrun(North Sea), Gullfaks (North Sea), Gungne (North Sea), etc. Noteworthy are also such companies as Aker BP ASA, TotalEnergies EP Norge AS, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS, Lundin Energy Norway AS, Repsol Norge AS, Wintershall Dea Norge AS and Neptune Energy Norge AS.


Thank you for the interview.



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