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We're the gas answer, Norway tells Europe

Norway sends nearly all of its gas exports to Europe.

By Daniel J. Graeber
European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger sees Norway as essential part of energy security puzzle. (CC/Jacques Grießmayer)
European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger sees Norway as essential part of energy security puzzle. (CC/Jacques Grießmayer)

BRUSSELS, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Norwegian Energy Minister Tord Lien said his country has the resources and infrastructure in place to serve as a steady partner in the European energy sector.

Lien met in Brussels with European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger during a bilateral energy conference.

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Lien said less than 30 percent of the natural gas available on the Norwegian continental shelf has been produced, meaning Norway can be a reliable partner for the European community for decades to come.

"We have both the infrastructure and the resources to remain a stable supplier of natural gas to Europe for decades to come," he said in an address Thursday. "Our production has grown more or less uninterrupted for 20 years."

Norway last year sent 92 percent of its oil exports and at least 98 percent of its gas exports to European markets.

With Europe looking to diversify an energy sector dependent on Russia, Oettinger said Norway stands to reap the benefits.

"Norway is an essential piece in the puzzle," he said.

Norway and Russia are the top natural gas exporters to the European Union. The Norwegian government said its gas accounts for 20 percent of the European market.

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