OSLO, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The first load of U.S. shale gas has arrived in Britain and would pose a threat to the gas industry in Norway, a local analyst said on Wednesday.
"This development can threaten the profitability of Norwegian gas projects," oil analyst Thina Saltvedt told the country's leading newspaper Aftenposten, commenting on the first ever shipment of U.S. shale gas that arrived in Scotland on Tuesday.
According to multinational chemicals company Ineos, the importer of the product, the U.S. shale gas will substitute "failing gas supply from the North Sea and ensure jobs in Britain."
The company is also established in Norway and has since March received weekly supplies of shale gas at their site in the Bamble municipality in Telemark county, Norway.
"Increasing import of shale gas to Europe will produce additional pressure on Norwegian gas producers to put down the expenses and remain competitive," Saltvedt said.
Britain is one of the most important markets for Norwegian gas and the gas is transported directly by the pipe from the North Sea.
Saltvedt pointed out that the volume of the import of shale gas to Britain and Europe in future will depend on the costs of production and transportation.
She also emphasized that Norway has high production expenses, but that the transportation via pipe from Norway is more affordable than ship transportation. According to Aftenposten, the American gas can be sold to Europe for 42 dollars per barrel of oil equivalent, which makes it competitive in relation to the Norwegian gas.
Ineos had earlier received all the gas from the North Sea. However, in the past three to four months the company has not received enough Norwegian gas in order to operate at full speed. It said import of American shale gas could ensure enough gas supply for low price in order to maintain plastic production and to compete on the current market.
Saltvedt said the increase in U.S. shale gas export, combined with the EU's wish to depend less on imported gas and cut climate gas emissions, will make the market tougher for Norwegian gas exporters in future.