Equinor sees "a lot of interest" in long-term gas deals, CEO says
Bergen, Norway, March 17 (Reuters) - Equinor has seen significant interest among gas buyers in Europe for entering into long-term supply contracts lasting between three and 10 years, the Norwegian company's CEO told Reuters on Friday.
EU countries plan joint gas purchases in a bid to improve security of supply amid sharply reduced flows from Russia, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen earlier on Friday said she hoped companies would sign longer-term deals.
"Long-term contracts for us means three to 10 years and we see that there is a lot of interest for long-term contracts at the moment," Equinor CEO Anders Opedal told Reuters.
European short-term gas prices spiked to record highs above 340 euros per megawatt hour last year, a more than tenfold rise on levels over the past decade, but have since dropped back to trade at around 44 euros on Friday as demand has eased.
Equinor on Friday hosted von der Leyen and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on a visit to the Troll A gas platform in the North Sea to discuss the security of supply and infrastructure.
The visit underlines the importance of the relationship between the European Union and non-EU Norway when it comes to energy, Opedal said.
"It shows how important it is that we focus both on security of supply and the security on the installations," he said.
Troll alone supplies 11% of all gas consumed in the EU, according to Equinor.
(Reporting by Nora Buli, editing by Terje Solsvik)