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High prices predicted on Norwegian gas

The prices on Norwegian gas will remain high in spite of the fact that the competition on the European market is tougher than ever before, predicted Statistics Norway (SSB).

In a new analysis, SSB states that the gas prices will remain higher than the average price the past 15 years. The income from the gas industry is predicted to increase from NOK 60 billion (USD 8.8 billion) in 2002 and 2003 to NOK 100 million (USD 14.7 billion) in 2010, reported the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

A large part of the income increase is due to the increased production, but the prices will also remain higher than they have been the last couple of years, according to the economists in SSB. The increase is predicted even thought there is basically free flow of gas on the European gas market.

«Greater dependency on gas and political instability in Eastern Europe may lead to rising gas prices,» said Eirik Lund Sagen at SSB.

Russia is the largest exporter of gas by far in Europe, but the production at many of the large fields will decrease in the years to come, and it offers a great challenge, stated Sagen.

The gas prices used to be established in connection with the price of oil products, but as the market has been liberalized, this connection will eventually completely disappear, stated the SSB researcher.

«There is little competition between oil and gas in power production and the rest of the final consumer market,» Sagen concluded.


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