Norway does not expect an increase in natural gas production in 2023, as its output has reached capacity, according to Petroleum & Energy Minister Terje Aasland.

However, during German Economics & Energy Minister Robert Habeck’s visit this week, the Norwegian government stressed that a stable and high level of gas exports will continue throughout the year, as it reassured Europe of its status as reliable supplier.

“These days, and in this situation, it is really important that we focus to continue exporting gas at the highest possible level to the German and European markets,” Aasland told Upstream on the sidelines of a press conference with Habeck.

“The production capacity is almost 100%. We cannot increase it by [another] 8% this year. But it is important that we can have that high level [of supply] through 2030,” Aasland added, referring to production increases at several gas fields last year following the government’s drive to help Europe replace Russian supplies after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store told the official meeting on 5 January: “Norway is acutely aware of high and stable of gas [supply] from the Norwegian continental shelf.

“We increased gas production by 8% last year. This increase helped to fill [storage facilities] in Europe, in Germany,” he said.

Store also thanked Germany for helping to strengthen security around Norway’s critical energy infrastructure.

“We also increased vigilance with the assistance of our allies includes Germany to ensure uninterrupted flow and secure our energy installations,” he said.

Store said earlier last year that companies operating offshore Norway were on track to deliver 122 billion cubic metres of gas in 2022.