Norway's Petoro books record $51 bln profit
OSLO, March 14 (Reuters) - Norwegian state energy firm Petoro reported on Tuesday more than a doubling of its annual earnings thanks to soaring gas prices and said it expected the world to need petroleum supplies "for a long time to come".
The oil and gas company's net profit rose to a record 539 billion Norwegian crowns ($50.74 billion) in 2022 from 222 billion the previous year, its annual report showed.
Norway became Europe's largest supplier of natural gas last year as Russia's Gazprom cut deliveries over the West's support for Ukraine, sending European gas prices to all-time highs.
"Secure and stable gas deliveries to Europe are more important than ever before, and Norway is guaranteeing this as a predictable and long-term supplier," Petoro Chief Executive Kristin Kragseth said in a statement.
Petoro, which is 100% government owned, is not itself an operator, but is a partner in a large number offshore oil and gas fields, including many operated by majority-state owned Equinor.
"The world's energy needs will necessarily include oil and gas for a long time to come. This underlines the importance of ensuring that this fossil energy is produced with the lowest possible emissions," Kragseth said.
The government saves revenue from Petoro and other oil and gas companies in the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund, one of the world's largest investors, with assets currently worth $1.3 trillion. ($1 = 10.6220 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche)