The European country that is not suffering from the European energy crisis – Il Post

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Due to the war in Ukraine and a real risk of interruption of energy flows from Russia, Norway has become the first gas supplier of the European Union, which for months has been working on a differentiation of its suppliers in order to always reduce more dependence on Russia. Norway, a NATO member but not a member of the European Union, has quickly managed to increase production and meet a growing need to replace Russian gas. And it is earning well.

Norway is the seventh largest oil exporter in the world and the fourth largest in gas. According to data from the Norwegian Statistical Institutein the first eight months of the year gas exports reached the value of 775 billion Norwegian crowns, equal to about 77 billion euros, or 315 per cent more than in the same period of 2021. In August, exports of gas reached its all-time high: 176 billion Norwegian kroner, or 17 billion euros, almost 40 percent more than the previous month and 360 percent more than in August 2021.

In 2021 it exported approximately 113 billion cubic meters of gas to the European Union and was the second supplier after Russia, which sold 155 billion. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine it has become the largest supplier to the European Union, where since the beginning of the year it has exported gas for a value of 60 billion euros, almost 80 percent of all its gas exports and 304 percent more than in the same period of 2021.

Not only did it increase sales, it benefited from the exceptionally high raw material prices. In August, its takings were more than four times higher than in 2021, compared with sales volumes that grew by only 12.8 percent. The Norwegian government has predicted that the state’s oil and gas revenues will hit 100 billion euros this year, a substantial figure.

Oil exports have also grown: since the beginning of the year it has exported 35 billion euros of oil, 61 percent more than last year.

Given the high earnings prospects, Norway plans to maintain current gas production levels until 2030, such as announced at the end of August, the Norwegian Minister of Energy, Terje Aasland. The further reduction of Russian gas to the European Union in recent weeks has made the country essential for European supply. So much so that the European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said in a press conference that with Norway they are trying to undertake a stable and growing supply path, asking in exchange to be able to buy the raw material at a discounted price compared to that of the market.

This dynamic accentuates a paradox that has existed for years now. Norway is enriching itself with exports of fossil fuels while it is one of the most advanced countries in terms of renewables and electrification. The energy crisis in the European Union, however, increases the pressure for Norway to further increase the production of gas and oil, with new explorations even in sensitive areas, contested by environmentalists, such as the Barents Sea.

The dilemma has repercussions in the internal political debate, which emerged in the 2021 electoral campaign. In reality, apart from the Greens and the Socialist Left, none of the main parties asked for an end to the explorations, both for the possible employment repercussions and because revenues from gas and oil could finance the development of clean energy in the country.

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The European country that is not suffering from the European energy crisis – Il Post


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