Stepping up climate change efforts on the NCS towards 2030

August 17, 2016 | Last modified March 17, 2021 10:15 CET
The Gullfaks C platform
The Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea. (Photo: Harald Pettersen)

The petroleum industry, under the direction of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, today announced its ambition to implement CO2 reduction measures corresponding to 2.5 million tonnes on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) by 2030 compared with 2020. Statoil will account for 2 million tonnes of this.

“In Statoil’s road map for the NCS towards 2030 our goal is to maintain profitable production at the 2015 level. In order to succeed as an oil and gas producer in a future low-carbon society we must maintain our leading position as a carbon-efficient producer. The efforts we make now will therefore improve our future business opportunities,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway (DPN).

Statoil has previously set itself the goal of cutting annual carbon emissions from the NCS by 1.2 million tonnes by 2020 compared with 2008.

The Paris negotiations represent a crossroads in international climate change work due to the number of countries reaching an agreement. It is based on an understanding that the increase in the global demand for energy must largely be met by renewable energy, but also recognition that the global economy will need fossil energy sources for a long time, also within a two-degree scenario.

Reducing the carbon intensity in the energy systems is a global challenge which calls for collaboration with government authorities, and responsible energy producers and consumers.

Statoil is prepared to progress its broad contribution to this work, including by cutting CO2 emissions from oil and gas production.

The CO2 emitted from oil and gas production on the NCS is about half of the average in the global oil and gas industry. Norway is leading the industry when it comes to climate change solutions and technologies for oil and gas production and has the most stringent framework conditions for climate change.

Arne Sigve Nylund
Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway (DPN). (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

“Based on Norway’s position as a carbon-efficient oil and gas producer combined with the Paris agreement I am optimistic about the future, both with regard to the climate change challenge and Statoil’s future,” says Nylund.

Even with a sharp increase in renewable energy most forecasts show that oil and gas will account for a substantial share of the world’s energy mix beyond 2050. In order to compensate for dropping global production from existing fields, this will require considerable investments in new oil and gas production volumes. It is important to lead the industry when it comes to low emissions in order to ensure production on the NCS in the long term.

“Statoil has been working systematically over many years to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. This work will be intensified in the future.  The specific, extensive reduction targets we present today together with other companies on the NCS represent a milestone and an important building block in the long-term strategic climate change work,” says Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, Statoil’s senior vice president for sustainability.

Bjørn Otto Sverdrup
Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, Statoil’s senior vice president for sustainability. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

Statoil emphasises that continued good teamwork between government authorities, oil companies, suppliers, research institutions and academic communities is essential to a successful result, focusing on certain basic preconditions:

  • Policy instruments must ensure equal competition across national borders. The introduction of a global/regional carbon price will be important in this regard
  • Actions must result  in genuine, lasting reductions in emissions, CO2 knows no borders
  • Special actions in Norway must be carefully considered, ensuring that they result in genuine emission reductions, and that we do not establish framework conditions that reduce the competiveness of the NCS.

Technology development and cost reductions

Statoil advocates a broad approach to the opportunities that exist for the development of low-emission technology for oil and gas production. Successful achievement of the goal will depend on the costs associated with the development and use of new technology.

“The goal we have now set ourselves is definitely ambitious, and we do not know at this stage how to achieve it. But this was also true in 2008, when we set ourselves a stretch target for 2020 which we have already achieved. Technology development and cost reductions will be essential to a successful outcome,” Nylund says.