Norway's Equinor signs 5-year gas supply deal with Austria's OMV

(Reuters) - Norwegian energy group Equinor has signed a five-year agreement to supply gas to Austria's OMV as part of the latter's supply diversification strategy, the companies said on Wednesday.

Equinor will deliver 12 terawatt hours (TWh) of natural gas starting on Oct. 1, the beginning of the European gas winter season, adding to volumes under existing contracts, the companies said.

The gas will be delivered at Germany's virtual trading hub THE (Trading Hub Europe) for OMV's European portfolio and priced "at market terms", they added.

"With these new volumes, OMV continues its gas diversification strategy," the company said.

The Austrian company is already purchasing gas from its own production sources in Norway and Austria, via long-term liquefied natural gas deliveries at the Dutch Gate terminal and the European Union's Joint Gas Purchasing Platform, it said.

OMV also still has long-term supply contracts with Russia's Gazprom running until 2040.

"We have been observing an increasing demand for bilateral contracts from customers who see Norwegian gas as an enabler of energy security as well as of the energy transition," said Helge Haugane, Equinor's senior vice president of Gas & Power.

Norway has become Europe's single biggest gas supplier, overtaking Russia, whose deliveries to Europe have dwindled in the wake of the war in Ukraine and damage to the Nord Stream pipelines.

Landlocked Austria still receives around 66% of its natural gas imports from Russia via pipelines into eastern Europe, according to government data, and the country is looking to join new supply routes.

In 2022, annual gas consumption in Austria reached 85 TWh, down from 93 TWh in 2021.

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