Diesel with low-sulphur guarantee

February 8, 2001, 13:00 CET

Statoil is now to guarantee that diesel for sale has a low-sulphur content. From the summer, most of Statoil's service stations in Norway will be offering this fuel.

The group has set a requirement that all new road tankers used by Statoil must have a particle filter installed.

The new diesel will contain less than 0.005 per cent sulphur. It will be sold from specially labelled pumps, initially from five heavy transport plants in Drammen, Bergen, Oslo, Tromsø and Levanger.

According to Øivind Holm Karlsen, managing director of Statoil Norge, the company will have to invest about NOK 10 million in a logistics system in order to be able to supply the new diesel quality.

Low-sulphur diesel will provide full environmental gains when it is used in cars that are equipped with special systems to cleanse the exhaust. These systems require diesel with a low sulphur content and when this fuel product enters the market, car-owners will be able to invest in such equipment.

A year ago, the Norwegian state reduced taxes on low-sulphur diesel. However, the oil companies have found it difficult to distinguish between the types of diesel in their distribution process. Although low-sulphur diesel has been sold at a number of locations in Norway, the companies have been unable to guarantee this quality to customers.