La Norvège a pris la place de la Russie au rang de premier fournisseur de gaz naturel (GNL) vers l

Gas: the jump in deliveries to Europe fills Norway’s coffers

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Since the war in Ukraine, Norway has replaced Russia as Europe’s main supplier of natural gas (LNG). A place that she takes advantage of. In August, this small Scandinavian country generated a record trade surplus, approaching 20 billion euros, according to official figures published on Thursday. This trade surplus is driven by the rapid increase in gas prices in August and the gradual interruption of Russian gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, whose tap was completely cut off in early September.

Results ” Norway’s already high natural gas export volumes hit a record explained Jan Olav Rørhus, an expert from the Norwegian statistical institute SSB. In detail, in August, the trade surplus of the rich Scandinavian country stood at 197.7 billion crowns (19.6 billion euros), driven by gas exports, whose value amounted to 176.4 billion crowns. That’s a 37.3% jump from July’s previous record, according to SSB figures.

This manna helps replenish the already full coffers of the Norwegian state, which notably controls 67% of the energy giant Equinor. It should make a taxable profit of 900 billion kroons (89 billion euros) this year, the third-best performance in the world behind Saudi Aramco and US-based Apple, according to Nordea Markets.

LNG: deprived of Russian gas, Shell and Equinor turn to Tanzania, TotalEnergies to Qatar

Norway ‘skeptical’ about gas price cap

In addition, with energy bills soaring on the mainland, some worry that the country will be seen as a ” war profiteer and several European states are calling for a cap on the price of imported gas, including from Norway. Norway, hitherto quiet on the issue of a price cap, is now openly opposed.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre recently said: skeptical with respect to a cap on the price of gas. ” We approach the discussions with an open mind, but we are skeptical about a maximum price for gas. (…) A maximum price will not change the fundamental problem, namely that there is very little gas in Europe.»

For Oslo, a possible cap on the price of imported gas risks diverting deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Europe, which is easily transportable and whose suppliers might be tempted to look elsewhere. The Norwegian authorities also consider that it is up to the oil groups and their clients in Europe to negotiate the terms of their contracts themselves and favor long-term contracts, at fixed prices and therefore giving more visibility, than spot contracts. . ), whose prices vary.

It is not the Norwegian government that sells the gas. These are the companies. And, in principle, neither are the European authorities the ones that buy the gas. “, repeated this Thursday the Norwegian Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, at the end of a meeting with the main hydrocarbon producers of the country dedicated to the energy crisis in Europe. But we are eager to have a close dialogue to help bring stability to a market that lacks gas. “, he added. Aker BP, one of three oil companies invited to Thursday’s discussions along with Equinor and Vår Energi, said it was in favor of long-term contracts, while highlighting difficulties. The European Commission and Norway announced this week the establishment of a working group to examine these issues.

(with AFP)