Norway's Aker BP has won permission to increase gas exports from its Skarv field, the country's energy ministry said on Monday, enabling the company to take advantage of high gas prices that now exceed the price of oil.
Until now, Aker BP has injected almost half of Skarv's natural gas output back into the reservoir in order to boost oil production, but the company last month said it was considering a move to more gas exports.
Skarv produced about 8 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas last year but sold only 4.5 bcm, data from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate showed.
Aker BP did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how much Skarv's gas output might rise.
Majority state-owned Equinor EQNR.OL last year made similar decisions to boost gas exports from its Heidrun and Gina Krog fields by switching away from reservoir injections. Read full story
Norway's overall gas exports last year amounted to 113.2 bcm, according to gas systems operator Gassco.
The Skarv field in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea pipes gas to the Kaarstoe processing plant before it is exported to Europe.
Operator Aker BP holds a 23.8% stake in Skarv, while partners Equinor has 36.2%, Wintershall DEA has 28.1% and PGNiG PGN.WA 11.9%.
(Reuters - Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis and Terje Solsvik; editing by David Evans)