UK’s main gas supplier Norway makes huge ‘war profits’ as Putin’s grip on Europe weakens
Oslo’s profits from oil and gas are expected to hit £100billion for the whole of 2022 and will even surge to £119billion in 2023, while the rest of Europe suffers from rising prices sparked by Russia.
By Jacob Paul
11:53, Sun, Dec 4, 2022 | UPDATED: 11:53, Sun, Dec 4, 2022
Norway ‘preparing for conflict with Russia’ says expert
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Norway, which supplies around 60 percent of Britain’s gas, has raked in astonishing profits amid the energy crisis due to the skyrocketing cost of wholesale gas, sparked largely by actions committed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. But while Norway reaps the benefits of Putin’s war, scuppering Putin’s grip on Europe, households in the UK are also footing the bill. Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Oslo received about £24billion in oil and gas revenues annually. But following the onset of the war, its profits are expected to hit £100billion for the whole of 2022 and will even surge to £119billion in 2023.
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That amounts to nearly £32,000 each for the country’s 5.4 million citizens over two years. Already forking out double compared the amount they were paying before the war on average, Britons are now expected to pay even more for their energy when the price cap goes from £2,500 to £3,000 in April.
But despite being more costly due to the international market, Norway’s supplies are still appreciated as countries scramble to replace plummeting volumes of Russian gas.
Not only is the EU (which got 40 percent of its gas from Russia before the war) determined to cut Russian fossil fuel imports to deprive the Kremlin of revenue, but Putin has also slashed delivered to the bloc and has threatened to “freeze” Europe this winter.
- Putin has also stopped sending gas through the vital Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, the Baltic Sea system which was targeted in a blast that caused gas to leak out into Swedish and Danish waters back in August.
Norway has come under fire from raking in huge oil and gas profits due to Putin’s war (Image: Getty )
Norway is the UK’s main gas supplier (Image: Express)
Norway has responded by boosting gas and oil production where possible, resulting in the amount of gas it sends to Europe soaring from 20 percent of the continent’s total pre-crisis to to 25 percent.
Norway’s state-owned pipeline operator says the amount of gas delivered to Europe will hit 117 billion cubic metres, a new record and an increase from the 113 billion sent last large year.
But Nathan Piper, an oil and gas analyst at Investec, told the Telegraph that this is nowhere near enough to immediately replace the full 150 billion cubic metres previously received from Russia.
He said: “Even if you have an oil and gas discovery, you won’t get new production from that for at least three to five, if not 10 years, so you cannot just turn these things on and off. If you have an existing facility, you can incrementally increase output, and that’s what Norway has done.”
The EU got 40 percent of its gas from Russia before the war (Image: Express)
“But if Russia restricts gas volumes to Europe for the next two to three to four years, then you would see more investment.”
However, while Oslo is scuppering Putin’s energy grip on Europe, households in Britain and across Europe still face eye-watering bill rises that have pushed millions of homes into fuel poverty, with many now forced to choose between heating or eating as temperatures begin to drop.
According to the Department for International Trade, last year, the UK’s gas imports from Norway soared by 57percent to £22.6billion in the year to June. Meanwhile, oil imports rose 32 percent to £13billion.
Critics have slammed Norway for making “war profits” from its oil and gas.