For the first time, the value of Norway’s gas exports is now higher than its oil exports. The reason is tied to the sharp fall in oil prices, which has also led to job losses and, this week, the shutdown of an exploration company that’s been headquartered in Northern Norway.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that North Energy, which had moved its headquarters from Alta to Tromsø in northern Norway earlier this year, was shutting down its offices in Tromsø and Stavanger and would be run from Oslo instead. The headquarters move and office closures have cost jobs and now the company, faced with a lack of commercial operations after several wells came up dry, needs to cut costs.
The fall in oil prices has also reduced the value of oil exports, which amounted to NOK 216 billion during the last 12 months. DN reported that now compares to NOK 232 billion worth of gas exports during the same period.
“I hadn’t believed revenues from gas would be higher than oil, to be honest,” Thina M Saltvedt, oil analyst at Nordea, told DN. “It has occurred surprisingly fast. And it’s almost entirely because of price. No one expected the price of oil would fall so much and keep lying down there.”
Norway sells gas especially to Great Britain, German and the Netherlands.