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Demand surge lifts natural gas outlook in North Sea sectors
Prospects for gas producers in the British, Norwegian, Dutch, and Danish portions of the North Sea continue to improve.
European demand for gas in the 1990s will be higher than first estimated. Despite competition from Soviet and African supplies, North Sea producers look set to corner much of the increased business.
In continental Europe, gas is benefiting from its relatively clean burning features at a time when government and consumers are looking for ways to reduce discharge of gases that might contribute to global warning.
The opening of eastern Europe's gas market, previously the unchallenged domain of Soviet supplies, will provide opportunities for North Sea producers as state gas companies try to diversify supply sources.
Poland's state gas authorities have sounded out Norway's Den norske stats oljelskap AS about the possibility of developing a supply network through the Baltic Sea to meet future Polish demand, which is expected to increase as pressure grows for environmental cleanup.
But North Sea gas could first go to East Germany. West German companies are planning to link their country's distribution network with that of their eastern neighbor.
In the U.K., demand is growing for gas to burn in a new generation of power plants. The advent of competition in industrial markets also will stimulate offshore development.
Sale of the state owned U.K. electrical power industry to private concerns allows new generating companies to enter the business.
Almost all the newcomers to power generation plan gas fired cogeneration plants. …