OSLO — Norway is seeing big interest from energy firms in developing offshore wind farms in its ongoing licensing round and may offer additional acreage in 2023, Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru told Reuters on Thursday.
“The interest is huge and I’m really looking forward to the developments,” she said, speaking in an interview at the Reuters Events: Global Energy Transition conference.
The Nordic country, better known for its vast oil and gas industry, has already announced plans to award offshore acreage in two locations to companies seeking to set up giant wind turbines.
Close to 30 companies have already expressed an interest in obtaining licenses for offshore wind ahead of an application deadline later this year, according to a Reuters tally, and more could still emerge.
Asked if more acreage could be made available in 2023, Bru said “probably, yes.”
“We’ve given an assignment to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) to start the process of finding and proposing new areas for development. We think that’s probably going to take around two years,” she said.
NO TO VERY HIGH OIL PRICES
Bru declined to predict whether the price of crude oil, which has doubled since last November, will continue to rise, but said stability was preferable over time.
“I don’t think we should wish for a very, very high oil price. We’ve seen what kinds of effects that can have in the long term,” Bru said.
“Stable prices are very much more important for the whole world economy and also for us as a producer, so we’ll have to see what happens, but we do know one thing and that is that it’s pretty impossible to predict,” she added.
Norway is western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer with a daily output of around 4 million barrels of oil equivalent.
For more on the Reuters Events: Global Energy Transition conference please click here [https://reutersevents.com/events/energy-transition-global/ ] (Editing by Terje Solsvik Editing by Mark Potter)