Norway will allow increased production from its biggest natural gas field as Europe’s second-largest supplier of the fuel prepares for increased competition with Russia and the U.S.
The production permit for Troll was increased 10 percent for the gas year starting Oct. 1, according to field operator Statoil ASA. Norway last year installed two new compressors at the North Sea field, ending technical issues that previously limited capacity and helping supply record volumes to Europe.
The higher limit may help Norway to catch up with Russia, the top European supplier which said it would this year exceed its 2013 export record. The two nations can send fuel to Europe at a lower cost than the U.S., which in February began shipments by tanker from the Gulf of Mexico coast. With European gas prices near their lowest since 2009 moving closer to those in the U.S., American shale gas has favored markets in Brazil and India.
“This is exactly the things Norway was going to do to defend market share,” Thierry Bros, an analyst at Societe Generale SA in Paris, said by e-mail, referring to the Troll permit. “Prices should go further down.”