Thursday

2nd Dec 2021

Norway expected to give in on North Sea Gas

One of Norway's standing conflicts with the EU is approaching a solution, according to Norwegian paper Aftenposten. During the coming week Oil Minister Olav Akselsen and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg will be meeting EU Energy Commissioner Loyola de Palacio and Competition Commissioner Mario Monti for talks about Norway's EEA adjustment to the EU Gas Directive.

The Gas Directive will force Norway to radically change its long-term policy for exploitation of the North Sea Gas by opening the gas conduits to the liberalised EU gas market. At present, all sale of gas from the Norwegian part of the North Sea is regulated by the Gassforvaltningsutvalget. The purpose has been to obtain an efficient exploitation of the gas. However, this has meant higher gas prices and so the EU Commission has been putting heavy pressure on Norway to abandon this system.

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This initiative has come in response to an initiative from the Norwegian government. It is supposed that this will be the last attempt from Norway to obtain some concessions from Brussels.

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Denmark's decision to put a deadline on all oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, as part of the country's plan to phase out fossil fuels by 2050, is expected to put pressure on the UK and Norway.

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