​Norway marks 40 years as natural gas exporter

Gassco CEO Frode Leversund. Image: Gassco

Norway has marked the 40th anniversary of first gas deliveries by pipeline to the rest of Europe.

State-run export pipelines operator Gassco held a celebratory seminar on the evening of September 7 at Emden on the German coast.

Norpipe started flowing gas on September 8, 1977, before the gas sales cartel was set up to manage all exports and so capture more value for the Norwegian government.

This 440-kilometre, 36-inch diameter line runs from the Ekofisk field in the Norwegian North Sea to Gassco’s terminal at Emden in Germany. Statpipe was tied into it in 1985. In 2016 a new receiving terminal for Norwegian gas was opened in Emden.

More than 40 percent of Norwegian gas exports is delivered to Germany, said Gassco in a statement.

“Norway has played an important role over 40 years in securing energy for Europe, and Norwegian gas will remain a key component in the European energy mix,” Gassco CEO Frode Leversund told representatives from the Norwegian and German governments, industry and academia.

He noted that the initial 440-kilometre pipe has since expanded to a gas export pipeline system of 8,829 kilometres, enabling Norway to meet a quarter of the EU's gas demand. Gassco now operates receiving terminals in Germany, Belgium, France and the UK.

A new record for Norwegian gas exports to Europe was set in 2016 via the Gassco-operated network of 108.5 billion cubic metres. The network itself is owned by public-private consortium Gassled.

— Natural Gas World