Faith in UK-Norwegian cooperation on carbon dioxide

October 26, 2005, 15:00 CEST

Challenges posed by using carbon dioxide for improved oil recovery (IOR) could offer potential for Anglo-Norwegian cooperation, according to Statoil chief executive Helge Lund.

He made this point during a speech at a conference in London today, 26 October, on collaboration between the oil and gas industry in the two countries.

Mr Lund addressed challenges and opportunities faced in meeting growing energy demand while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions which affect the global climate.

“The International Energy Agency (IEA) has estimated that world energy demand will rise by almost 60 per cent over the next 25 years,” he noted.

“That naturally creates formidable business opportunities. At the same time, however, environmental challenges are high on the world agenda.

“Energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide in 2030 are expected to be 60 per cent above the present level.”

Mr Lund noted that the energy supply sector faces major challenges – not only political and technological, but also commercial and environmental.

“Natural gas is the fastest-growing energy form in the world. We in Statoil see great opportunities there.

“We’ve taken important industrial steps to secure gas supplies for the UK and western Europe.

“We also see very exciting opportunities in the Barents Sea, where the strategic importance of our Snøhvit development is becoming steadily clearer.”

In the environmental area, Mr Lund emphasised that Statoil is working on the assumption that a relationship exists between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming.

He pointed out the capture and storage of carbon dioxide is a significant element in Statoil's work to minimise greenhouse gas emissions from the group's own activities.

“We’ve been a pioneer in carbon capture and storage. Since 1996, we have separated carbon from the gas stream on our Sleipner fields and injected it into a permanent sub-surface store.

“The same technology is being applied on Snøhvit. Together with BP and Sonatrach, we have introduced the world’s first project of this kind on land for Algeria’s In Salah field.”

The next step could be to establish a carbon dioxide value chain where, in addition to storage, an improved oil recovery (IOR) effect could be included. Statoil is considering opportunities to use carbon dioxide for IOR projects.

“I believe the potential exists in this area for cooperation across national boundaries between the UK and Norway.”

Mr Lund was one of the principal speakers at the London conference, which was staged in connection with this week’s visit of the Norwegian king and queen to the UK capital.