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  • May 23rd, 2014

Norway can’t meet any winter Russian gas shortfall: Statoil executive

Norway will have only limited scope to increase its gas deliveries to Europe this winter in the event of disruption to Russian supplies as a result of the Ukraine crisis, a senior Statoil executive said Tuesday.

“I think many producers, including us, can adjust on the margins, but most of the production capacity from Norway is typically designed to produce at maximum in winter and that is what we’ll do,” Statoil senior vice president Rune Bjornson told delegates at the Flame gas conference in Amsterdam.

However, Europe retains the option to move into the LNG market, in the absence of significant additional Norwegian supply, Bjornson said.

“That is even more important as a mid-term solution, but of course they will have to compete with other consumers,” he added.

But well stocked storage sites and the move into the warm summer months meant there was no immediate challenge to European security of supply from a disruption to Russian deliveries, Bjornson said.

Russia has threatened to cut off supplies to Ukraine on June 3 unless it receives advance payments for gas by June 2. Ukraine is a key transit country for Russian gas to Europe and on the previous two occasions that Russia cut Ukrainian supplies (in 2006 and 2009), it also stopped transit deliveries through Ukraine after accusing it of siphoning off gas intended for European customers

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