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Today in Energy

September 1, 2011

Norway's natural gas exports to continental Europe fell in spring & summer of 2010 & 2011

graph of Norway's primary natural gas pipeline exports, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration based on Bentek Energy, LLC.

EIA's recently released Country Analysis Brief for Norway shows that the country is a leading energy supplier, with the largest natural gas and oil reserves in western Europe as well as abundant hydroelectric resources. Focusing on natural gas, Norway was the second largest exporter of natural gas in the world in 2010, behind only Russia; it provided about 18% of the total natural gas consumed in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Europe.

Norway's exports to its primary European destinations fell during the spring and summer in both 2010 and 2011, but the decline was far larger in 2011, especially to the United Kingdom (UK), according to Bentek Energy pipeline flow data.

The overall decreases in pipeline exports were driven by decreases in exports to the UK. Earlier in the year, lower exports to the UK were the result of increased imported volumes of LNG, which displaced Norway's pipeline gas. Estimated LNG deliveries from re-gasification terminals in the UK are up 56% or about 880 million cubic feet so far this year (January 1 through August 30) compared to the same period last year. Nearly full natural gas storage inventories in the UK, about 91% according to Bentek Energy data, also may have contributed to the lower Norwegian exports.

graph of Norway's natural gas pipeline exports to the United Kingdom, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration based on Bentek Energy, LLC.

Norway exports its natural gas to continental Europe mainly through an extensive network of export pipelines and a smaller amount via LNG. Top destinations for Norway's natural gas are Germany, the United Kingdom, and France. Norway operates several natural gas pipelines that connect directly with other European countries, specifically France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Germany. Spain imports LNG from Norway.