Gas exports to Europe from Russia and Norway reached record levels last year, a new report said today.
But while Russia is expected to increase its market share, Norwegian output is likely to decline in the coming year, oil and gas consultancy Rystad Energy said.
Russian gas exports to Europe went up by 15billion cubic metres (bcm) to 194 bcm last year.
Norway rose by 9 bcm to 122 bcm meanwhile.
However, annual output from several key gas fields in Norway – namely Ormen Lange, Aasgard and Kvitebjorn – is expected to decline by 10 bcm by 2020.
This will only be partially offset by the 8.6 bcm increase in projected annual gas output in the same period from the start-up of the Aasta Hansteen field.
Carlos Torres-Diaz, Rystad Energy’s vice president for gas markets, said: “The higher exports have provided reliable supply for Europe and give an indication that the strategy followed by both Russia and Norway has been to maintain their market share, benefiting European consumers as prices in NW Europe have remained rather stable.
“This has also kept new US supplies of LNG out of the region, enabling American gas to meet increasing demand in Asia and Latin America.”
On the prospect of Russian gas exports increasing, he said: “With the ramp-up and expansion of the Yamal LNG plant and the completion of the Power of Siberia pipeline, exports to Asia are expected to increase.
“However, the increased production, coupled with the continuation of Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipeline projects, leaves large potential for even higher exports to Russia’s main market, Europe.”