Norway exported 114 billion m3 of natural gas in 2015, up from just 2.7 billion m3 back in 1977. It covered almost a quarter of EU gas demand. It also made more money from gas than oil: NOK227 billion (some €25 billion) vs. NOK200 billion in revenues. And all that’s just with one-third of its estimated gas reserves produced so far.
“We take it for granted,” said Mona Mølnvik, Research Director at SINTEF, the largest independent research organisation in Scandinavia, at her opening of the 4th Trondheim Gas Technology Conference on 5 December. “We need to look 50 years ahead.”
This conference was different to previous editions because it went beyond the classical applied science presentations. It kicked off with a much broader, policy-led debate about the future of gas in Europe. “The interest and support for gas-related research and technology development is declining,” explained organisers SINTEF and NTNU, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, both based in Trondheim.
Gas is facing hard times in Norway. Prices are low, production is costly and new fields are small, remote and often packed with more gas than oil (making the economics less attractive). On top of this, there is the decarbonisation agenda.
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