Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete
Oslo, 29 January 2016
In the context of the development of the Energy Union and the forthcoming winter package,
As you know, Norway is a large supplier of oil and gas to the EU and part of the internal
energy market through the EEA agreement. Our electricity grid is closely connected to those
of our neighbours, and we are fully integrated in the Nordic electricity market. The
development of the Energy Union is therefore of great interest and relevance to us.
We appreciate the EU’s strong emphasis on developing efficient energy markets, with
security, affordable energy and an effective climate policy in Europe.
Norway is a vocal proponent for carbon pricing. The emissions trading system EU ETS is -
functioning European energy markets, together with an ambitious ETS, will both facilitate
increased use of renewable energy sources and support energy efficiency.
economy without recognising the role of gas. In terms of CO
emissions, gas is much cleaner
quickly. Natural gas can also provide necessary flexibility in a power system where
intermittent renewable energy sources increase their role.
Gas hence has the potential to support a cleaner energy system in two ways: by replacing coal
Increased use of gas in EU
countries will be supplemental to the development of renewable energy sources in order to reach
the EU 2030 targets. Carbon Capture and Storage would further strengthen gas as an important
energy source in a low emission future.
Norway is a long term, reliable supplier of natural gas to the EU – and will remain so. Only
one third of Norway’s estimated gas resources have been produced over the last 45 years.
Norway thus has a large pool of remaining gas resources. Over the next 20 years, we expect to
produce yet another third of our gas resources. This leaves one third available for export
Our oil and gas is explored for, developed, produced and sold by commercial companies.
export has never been higher than in 2015. The gas export from the Norwegian Continental
Shelf is expected to remain high and stable in the decades ahead, on average slightly below
A considerable share of our untapped gas resources are located in the Barents Sea. Additional
expansion can either be an expansion of the LNG capacity with destination flexibility, or
a pipeline connection to Europe. Such expansion demands very substantial up-front
investments. Companies investing in this capacity will make their choice on a commercial
basis, taking into consideration the prospects for gas in Europe.
The forthcoming winter package – and the following debate – will be an important
European economy. A clear message from the Commission that natural gas remains important
for the EU’s energy mix for many years to come, would be a welcome signal to gas investors
in Norway considering projects that would connect them to the EU market.
Petroleum and Energy
Minister of EEA and EU