Norwegian natural gas producers must seek out the markets because other suppliers are positioning themselves within the world market, Peter Mellbye, executive vice president of Natural Gas for Statoil, told an industry panel at the Offshore Northern Seas conference in Stavanger.
"We have to see the opportunity, grasp it, and go forward," Mellbye said. He cautioned producers against the temptation of wait for the market to seek them out. The demand for natural gas – driven by its environmental advantages – will be increasing both in Europe and worldwide for the foreseeable future, he said, but producers must be proactive in taking a share of the market.
Norway has the advantage of having an integrated production and transportation system in place and close proximity to markets for natural gas, he told the panel. Timing will be important, he said, because gas production offshore Norway is expected to grow through 2010, at which point it will level off. New production will be needed to meet rising demand beyond that point, he said.