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How the largest gas producer in Europe benefits from the sanctions imposed on Russia

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The increase in demand for natural gas in Europe propels the largest producer on the old continent to a new record, writes Le Figaro.

Norway’s trade surplus reached a record high in July, largely due to a rise in natural gas prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, official statistics showed on Monday, writes Le Figaro.

Norway’s trade surplus last month stood at 153.2 billion kroner (15.6 billion euros), beating the previous record set in March (138.1 billion kroner), according to figures published by the national statistics institute SSB.

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Gas exports – Norway is the largest exporter of hydrocarbons in Western Europe – have doubled over a year, to 128.4 billion crowns, again a record related to the increase in prices. “The shutdown and slowdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which brings gas from Russia to Europe, helped push the price of gas to a record high in July,” Jan Olav Rørhus, a statistician at SSB, commented in a statement.

Norway replaces Russia

Exports in general reached an all-time high of 229 billion kroner, 0.4% more than in March, according to SSB. It is also the result of the increase in sales of oil, but also of electricity, metals and fish.

While European countries are trying to break their energy dependence on Russia following the war in Ukraine, Norway is producing at full capacity to cover part of the needs. Before the conflict, Norway covered between 20 and 25% of the gas needs of the European Union and the United Kingdom, compared to between 45 and 50% for Russia.

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