Continued Norwegian Sea growth

December 7, 2006, 13:30 CET

Statoil's current intense exploration and production activities in the Norwegian Sea are a source of future growth said chief executive Helge Lund during a conference on 7 December.

This year's December conference in Kristiansund places the Norwegian Sea in an international perspective with the energy situation in Norway and Europe in focus. The conference theme is Energy for Europe - the Norwegian Sea delivers.

In his speech, Mr Lund emphasised that the Norwegian continental shelf still has a great potential and that Statoil has launched a demanding ambition of maintaining an output of one million barrels of oil equivalent per day until 2015.

"Statoil has been involved in drilling 199 of the 214 exploration wells drilled in the Norwegian Sea, so far," underlined Mr Lund.
"We will continue to maintain both intense exploration and project activity.

"In order to realise the greatest possible value from expected volumes in new fields, new transport capacity from the area could be necessary."

"It will be important to find good area solutions, and not least, to see Norwegian Sea developments as part of activities further south."

The December conference is one of the largest oil and gas conferences in Norway. This year's event, the 24th so far, has 300 participants.

Afterwards, Mr Lund travelled directly to the Statoil-operated industrial complex at Tjeldbergodden in mid-Norway.

At Tjeldbergodden, Statoil operates the receiving facility for gas from the Norwegian Sea's Heidrun field, an air separation plant and Europe's largest methanol plant. The facility represents Norway's largest industrial processing of natural gas.

Tjeldbergodden is important for Statoil. Together with Shell, Statoil hopes to build a gas-fired power station with carbon capture as part of the industrial value chain.

Mr Lund pointed to the mid-Norway plant as an important part of the debate about greenhouse gas emissions.

"Statoil wishes to be recognised as being part of the solution, not the problem," said Mr Lund.

"Solutions for carbon management must be seen in a global perspective. Tjeldbergodden can therefore play a key industrial role in the capture and storage of carbon dioxide."

Mr Lund emphasised that the project's realisation will require active government involvement.

At the Statoil-operated plants at Tjeldbergodden and Mongstad near Bergen, two of the world's largest carbon capture projects, the group is collaborating with Shell and the Norwegian government to find solutions for capture and storage of carbon dioxide from the flue gas.

"Both projects represent big steps for energy and the environment," Mr Lund said.

"They attract international attention and can act as a catalyst for the development of new technology."