Minister visits Sleipner A
The weather was fine when chief executive Helge Lund and the top-level delegation visited Sleipner A. (Photo: Kjetil Alsvik)
“One of Norway’s most important gas pipelines, namely Langeled, runs right beneath you,” StatoilHydro chief executive Helge Lund noted when welcoming the visitors to the North Sea platform.
“In my view, gas exports from the Norwegian continental shelf represent perhaps our most important contribution to reducing carbon emissions in Europe.”
Mr Riis-Johansen was accompanied by representatives from governments and environmental bodies in a number of countries.
Their visit formed part of a major conference on climate change and CCS taking place in Bergen today and tomorrow.
Mr Lund explained that Norway’s gas exports were a vital element in deliveries of clean energy to Europe. StatoilHydro has about 15% of Europe’s gas market.
“Substituting coal with natural gas in electricity generation can reduce carbon emissions by about two-thirds. So replacing old, inefficient coal stations with new gas-fired capacity is a sound climate strategy.”
Petroleum and energy minister Terje Riis-Johansen and almost a dozen representatives from environmental authorities worldwide found their visit to Sleipner A an interesting introduction to carbon challenges on the NCS. (Photo: Kjetil Alsvik)
“At the same time, CCS is one of several important measures which can reduce carbon emissions,” he added.
A million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the Sleipner fields are stored every year in the Utsira formation, and this amount could be raised to three million tonnes at full capacity.
However, Sleipner A is not only a hub for gas transport. Substantial additional discoveries have also been made in this area during recent years.
Olav Kårstad, StatoilHydro’s carbon dioxide expert, briefed the visitors on experience gained over more than a decade of carbon capture on and secure storage from the platform.
The Bergen conference is being attended by key people involved with the environment – politicians, scientists and journalists from a number of countries.
Mr Riis-Johansen and Erik Solheim, minister of the environment, are tomorrow due to initiate expert sessions looking more closely at climate solutions and carbon capture potential.
One topic will be solutions for carbon transport and storage, where executive vice president Margareth Øvrum from StatoilHydro will be a contributor.
Other subjects include carbon emissions in the light of growing world energy requirements, how to finance climate technology, and available incentives for CCS projects.
The conference will be concluded by a summing-up from Norwegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre.