Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland held this speech when he participated at the opening of the gas pipeline Baltic Pipe that connects Poland with Denmark and the Norwegian upstream gas pipeline network in Northwestern Europe. The opening took place in Szczecin, Poland on 27th September 2022.
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President, Prime Ministers, ladies and gentlemen.
Today we celebrate a milestone on the important path towards European independence from Russian energy.
Baltic Pipe is a strategic and important symbolic project. It connects Poland with Denmark and the Norwegian upstream gas pipeline network in Northwestern Europe.
With an annual capacity of ten billion cubic meters of gas, the pipeline can bring gas from the fields on the Norwegian continental shelf and contribute to strengthening energy security in Southern Scandinavia, Poland and other countries in the region.
President Morawiecki - you have been working hard for this day for many years, long before most people realized the importance of European energy independence. We acknowledge your decade long focus on resilience and congratulate on this achievement!
The most important thing Norway can do in the energy situation Europe is in, is to deliver as much natural gas as we can to our European partners. By actively facilitating this, my government has ensured that gas companies on the Norwegian continental shelf produce close to maximum capacity every day.
The production level of gas on the NCS for 2022 has been increasing by around 8 per cent.
We will do everything in our power to ensure that production at this high level can continue.
Our times are characterized by complex and demanding crises. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that we solve the challenges we face together and preserve our unity through this tough time.
On our collective behalf, I am proud of the unity that characterized the response to Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine and the war's inhumane consequences. We are deeply impressed and grateful for the efforts Poland is making - humanitarian, political and military - for Ukraine and Ukrainian people.
Norway also sees it as our duty of course to continue helping Ukraine.
Putin uses energy as a weapon in an attempt to destabilize Europe and break our unity. It will not succeed. Today is also a testimony to that.
At the same time, we cannot lose sight of long-term goals.
The climate crisis is our generation's greatest challenge and we need to address this existential challenge together.
We are leading the way for scaling up carbon capture and storage. We invests heavily in the development of offshore wind and we are contributing to building European battery value chains and a European market for hydrogen.
This comes on top of the high Norwegian gas supplies to Europe, contributing not only to better security of energy supply, but also to reduced greenhouse gas emissions when gas is used instead of coal, in turn contributing to better health for European citizens.
Norway is fully committed to continue with this and to work hard for a green transition.
President Duda, Prime Minister Morawiecki, Prime Minister Frederiksen, everything is in place for strategic, close cooperation between our countries in the transition we are going through.
I very much look forward to developing our good cooperation further.