Addressing sustainable development (vedlegg)
Acting chief executive Inge K Hansen held the speech at the annual lunch during IP Week 2004 in London today, 17 February .
IP Week is arranged by the Energy Institute and is an important international event in the oil and gas industry. The annual IP lunch is a traditional event during the conference, bringing together some 350 invited leaders from the international oil and gas business.
Mr Hansen discussed how far sustainable development is a realistic ambition in this industry.
One and a half billion people in the world currently lack access to electricity. World energy consumption is expected to increase by almost 30 per cent in the period up to 2020, which gives rise to considerable environmental and climatic challenges. Roughly 90 per cent of world energy consumption comes from fossil fuels, and these will continue to dominate for decades to come.
"Some people seem to believe that the environmental and climatic challenges signal the end of the petroleum sector's role and significance," stated Mr Hansen.
"I personally believe that this is wrong. A more relevant conclusion is that our common ability to meet these challenges will depend on our ability to take innovative approaches to both new and traditional energy carriers.
"Our industry generates considerable income, and we provide energy that the world needs. Economic growth is necessary if we are to overcome global poverty, and without energy there would be no economic growth.
"In answer to the question whether it is possible to combine strong financial and environmental performance with socially responsible behaviour, my answer is clearly yes. There are no alternatives. We all share the responsibility for our common future. For Statoil, sustainable oil and gas development is a definite and realistic ambition."
Mr Hansen's speech, entitled Sustainable oil and gas development , is attached here (PDF file).