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New cooperation deal with Bellona

September 9, 2005, 10:00 CEST

A three-year collaboration agreement running until 2008 has been concluded by Statoil with Norway’s Bellona environmental organisation.

Under a dialogue pursued since 1996 and earlier deals, the two sides have challenged each other on energy and environmental issues and opportunities related to the oil and gas industry.

The previous cooperation agreement between them expired last year. Statoil will now give Bellona NOK 500,000 a year to support specific technical assignments in the environmental field.

This partnership will focus particularly on two areas: petroleum exploration and development in the far north, and climate change.

Statoil and Bellona have differing views on far northern operations, but recognise the need for dialogue at all times over the basic facts.

They also acknowledge that a safe and environmentally-acceptable environmental standard must be developed for such activities.

Global climate challenges demand internationally-binding cooperation and the development of new and better solutions for tackling these problems.

Statoil will cooperate with Bellona to identify improvements and ways in which the group can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Norway and abroad.

This includes opportunities for capture and storage of carbon dioxide and for increasing the use of hydrogen.

“Bellona and we come from different positions and have opposing views on important environmental issues,” acknowledges Tor Fjæran, Statoil’s senior vice president for the environment.

“At the same time, we see the benefit of an objective dialogue and of challenging each other to develop forward-looking environmental solutions.”

He emphasises that Statoil works continuously to improve its performance in the environmental area.

“But we need to go on making progress, and will be challenging ourselves further through the agreement with Bellona and continuing to develop our position.”

Fredric Hauge, who heads Bellona, is proud of the collaboration agreement with Statoil.

“We’ve learnt a lot from earlier partnership deals with the group,” he says. “We quite simply can’t solve climate problems except through cooperation with such companies.

“Our goals are the same as Statoil’s on a number of issues, while we take different positions on others.

“That’s precisely why we have great expectations of being able to improve each other. Dialogue must never be wrong.”

The collaboration will lead to specific projects related to the main focus areas. Other areas or subjects which could be incorporated in the agreement will be assessed along the way.