COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway announced Wednesday it approved 19 oil and gas projects on the Norwegian continental shelf, saying the total investments are worth over 200 billion kroner ($19 billion).
"The projects are also an important contribution to Europe's energy security," said Terje Aasland, Norway's minister for petroleum and energy.
Norway was the only net exporter of oil and gas in Europe, he said, adding, "By carrying out these projects we ensure new production from the latter half of the 2020s, so that we can maintain high Norwegian deliveries."
The projects consist of new developments, further development of existing fields, and investments in projects for increased extraction at existing fields.
Norway, one of the world's wealthiest countries due to its vast oil and gas reserves, said earlier this month that it wants to open parts of its continental shelf for commercial deep-sea mining in line with the country's strategy to seek new economic opportunities and reduce its reliance on the oil and gas industry.
The conflict in Ukraine has boosted Norway's revenues as European countries previously reliant on Russia seek alternative energy sources. However, Norway has fended off accusations that it's profiting from the war in Ukraine.
In February, the Storting, the Norwegian parliament, announced that the Scandinavian country is donating 75 billion kroner ($7.4 billion) to Kyiv as part of a five-year support package, making Norway one of the world's biggest donors to war-torn Ukraine. The money was from oil income, and the donation should not affect the Norwegian economy.