Norway must continue to deliver natural gas to Europe for as long as needed while also working to decarbonise the continent's energy systems, the Norwegian climate and environment minister said on Friday.

"We think it's strategically important that we uphold these deliveries while there is still use, but we also work for the elimination of use, for the transition from natural gas," Espen Barth Eide told a Reuters Newsmaker event.

Overall, oil and gas will play a smaller part in generating income for the Norwegian economy in the future, he said.

"We're beyond the peak, and are very much aware and even happy to say that oil and gas will gradually be a smaller part of our economy," Barth Eide said. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, editing by Terje Solsvik and Essi Lehto)