TV 2 meets Anders Opedal, CEO of Equinor, at the Norwegian Oil Museum in Stavanger.
He won’t make a concrete prediction about the family’s finances this winter, but he admits it will be difficult.
– There is little energy in Europe. This is because the gas pipeline from Russia is somewhat closed, says Obidal.
The director also points to other long-term challenges in Europe.
In fact, there is a shortage of everything. There is a shortage of gas, coal, oil and not least a shortage of minerals needed for renewable development.
Obidal says high energy prices affect everyone, both companies and individuals.
The situation in Europe is not good. Economic development occurs only when there is enough energy. Now that’s not enough, he says.
Profitable “energy war”
Equinor has benefited greatly from Russia’s “energy war” against Europe. According to an analysis by Sparebank1 Markets They may have 650 billion NOK at the end of the year.
– Surely it pays to be a Norwegian oil and gas company today?
– Yes, it’s ready. We did not calculate what we would have gained if we had not had the war in Ukraine. Before the war, oil and gas prices were also on the rise, but prices rose a lot after the Russian energy war in Europe, says Obedal.
– You rush. How can you contribute?
– We are investing in the future. We have many projects in oil and gas, but also in renewable energy, which will be necessary to secure the energy needs of Norway and Europe in the future. In addition, we pay a lot of taxes. Over NOK 200 billion in taxes, in the first half of 2022.
– Can’t you sell gas cheaper to Europe to lower the price of electricity?
– Now we have built a market, and how the market should work. The starting point is the lack of power, which makes the price high. The most important thing we can do is to make sure that we provide enough energy.
He says Equinor has increased gas production to keep prices low.
The increase in gas production has meant that Germany has been able to store more gas for the winter than it would otherwise, says Obedal.
Must continue with fossil energy
The Equinor chief believes the politicians’ job is to find arrangements that make it possible for Norwegians to pay their electricity bill.
— But we are willing to look at long-term contracts, specifically to ensure a price that is sustainable over time, says Obidal.
– But reducing the price of gas now in order to reduce the price of electricity is completely out of the question?
We must follow the market mechanisms set by the European Union. We will also follow up on potential new market mechanics in the future.
He believes that much of the global economy has developed because of fossil energy.
We must continue to do so, to make sure that we have enough energy, but at the same time we succeed in shifting consumption towards renewable energy sources.
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