As war stems Russian gas, Norway’s Equinor gains outsized market impact


When the world’s top gas traders met in late April at a canal-side hotel on the outskirts of Amsterdam, the atmosphere was business-as-usual: coffee, croissants and wrangling over deals for the upcoming winter. Then came news of a leak at Europe’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, located above the Arctic circle in Norway.

The problem — discovered during a planned test of the facility’s safety systems — was quickly repaired, but not before it caused a momentary spike in the price of natural gas. Back in the Netherlands, it served as an uncomfortable reminder of the power of a single company, Equinor.

In the more than two years since Russia invaded Ukraine, sending energy prices soaring, the Norwegian oil and gas giant has quietly picked up the crown that once belonged to Russia’s Gazprom PJSC. Norway now supplies 30% of the bloc’s gas; Gazprom provided about 35% of all Europe’s gas before the war. And of the more than 109 billion cubic meters of natural gas Norway exported to Europe last year — enough to power Germany until 2026 — roughly two-thirds was marketed and sold by Equinor.

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