Oil companies cooperate on VOC cuts
An agreement on reducing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted during offshore loading of crude was today signed by 23 licensees in Norwegian oil fields.
"This represents a unique industry collaboration which brings together all the companies loading oil off Norway," says project manager Egil Tveit in Statoil.
"A joint drive along these lines will not only cut emissions substantially but also reduce the cost of such measures by permitting optimum use of VOC recovery plants on shuttle tankers."
The cooperation deal reinforces efforts by the companies to meet a government requirement that 95 per cent of offshore-loaded oil must be subject to VOC recovery by 2005.
In the first instance, recovery plants will be installed on eight shuttle tankers. Two are already in place, while the others are under construction or at the planning stage.
The first eight units will be operational during the winter, and similar facilities are due to be in place on all shuttle tankers serving Norwegian fields by the end of 2005.
Operators Statoil, Esso, Shell and Norsk Hydro have formed an executive committee for the partnership, and will take decisions on its behalf.
Cutting VOC emissions is expected to cost the industry NOK 1.5-2 billion up to 2010.
Statoil has already installed recovery plants on its Åsgard A and Norne production ships in the Norwegian Sea, allowing these fields to store crude without releasing VOCs.
The other participants in the collaboration are Petoro, Fortum, TotalFinaElf, Norsk Agip, BP, Dong, Idemitsu, RWE-DEA, ChevronTexaco, Paladin, Gaz de France, Enterprise Oil, DNO, Conoco and Amerada Hess.