The European Union and Norway agreed on Thursday to further strengthen their cooperation in the energy field, providing the EU with additional gas supplies, Norway's oil and energy ministry said.
“We had a good and constructive meeting, where we agreed to cooperate even closer on energy. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made closer cooperation necessary,” said Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland.
Some background: Europe's energy crisis escalated this month as Russia further reduced supplies to Germany, Italy and other members of the European Union. Twelve EU countries have so far been affected by Russian gas supply cuts, the bloc's climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said on Thursday.
Russia's state gas company Gazprom slashed flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany by 60% last week, blaming the move on the West's decision to withhold vital turbines because of sanctions. Italian energy giant ENI said Gazprom was cutting its supplies by 15%.
A joint statement from the EU and Norway noted that “Norway’s oil and gas production for European energy security has increased further after Russia's unjustified and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine.”
According to the statement, Norway currently delivers approximately one-fourth of EU countries’ gas consumption and is producing gas “at very high capacity.”