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Shipping in Equinor

With over 150 ships at work for us on the Norwegian continental shelf, including supply, standby,  anchor handling vessels and approximately 100 tankers, we are a significant charterer in the shipping market.

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Equinor commits to the Sea Cargo Charter – for more transparent reporting of shipping activity

The Equinor shipping fleet

Our seaborne transportation of crude, gas liquids and LNG volumes involves more than 4300 voyages worldwide per year and moves over 100 million tonnes annually. 

Today, over 150 ships are at work collecting and transporting oil, fetching and bringing equipment and providing emergency standby services just for Equinor – an enormous number of transport movements. 

 
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We recently launched our maritime climate ambitions with clear targets for 2030 and 2050.

Equinor’s greener shipping

  • 14 newbuildings will be put into operation in Equinor’s shipping fleet in 2020, most in the North Sea and two in Brazil.
  • Equinor’s ambitions in offshore wind will be yet another driver for greener shipping.
  • Viking Energy will be the world’s first ammonia-powered supply vessel. The ship was also the first in Equinor’s fleet to operate on LNG.
  • The ocean, and the expertise associated with it, is one of Equinor’s priority areas. Green shipping is a natural part of this commitment.

We have contracted four new low carbon shuttle-tankers that will come into our fleet during 2020 and are part of a comprehensive newbuilding plan for our shipping fleet.

The vessels are equipped with new carbon-efficient technologies such as dual fuel LNG, LVOC (Liquified Volatile Organic Compounds) to be blended with LNG as fuel, and large hybrid batteries. 

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A wide variety of measures are employed to reduce emissions from our logistical operations:

  • Planning efficient sailing routes and optimal utilisation of vessels and helicopters
  • Fuel consumption as one of the evaluation criteria in awarding new vessel contracts.
  • We have introduced requirements in our long-term contracts stating that supply vessels must have hybrid battery operation and be prepared for shore power. 
  • Incentives in the vessel contracts to reduce fuel consumption: shipowners are paid if their emissions are lower than agreed, and they must pay a surcharge if their emissions are higher than agreed.
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What are possible alternative fuels for ships?

  • LNG (liquefied natural gas) — has no sulphur emissions, reduces NOx emissions by between 80-90%, reduces CO2 emissions by up to 30%. No environmental damage from accidents and spillages, since LNG evaporates. There are nevertheless challenges with methane emissions, which the industry is working to resolve.

  • LVOCs (liquefied volatile organic compounds) — The new Rainbow Spirit and Eagle Blane shuttle tankers contracted to Equinor combine LNG with the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) evaporating from the cargo of oil, which also has the major advantage of preventing the environmentally-harmful VOCs from reaching the atmosphere, a challenge with conventional tankers. When cooled and compressed into liquefied LVOC, this cargo evaporation can supply between 20 and 30% of the ship’s fuel requirements. 

  • Hydrogen - No vessels of this size are running on hydrogen today, but there are several trial projects underway on vessels ranging from ferries to supply vessels. If hydrogen is produced from natural gas with carbon capture and storage, there will be no emissions from production or combustion.

  • Ammonia - Used in fuel cells and can be produced without greenhouse gas emissions. The shipping industry is in the early phases of testing ammonia. The supply vessel Viking Energy will be the first of its kind to utilise ammonia.

  • Battery and shore power - For large supply vessels and shuttle tankers, the batteries stabilise and even out the power supply onboard. The ships spend a lot of time at sea, and the batteries assist the generators so that they use less conventional fuel. Currently batteries are only a supplementary power source, since powering an entire vessel by battery would consume too much cargo space. 
     
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Illustration: DNVGL

The Green Shipping Programme

Norway is establishing a programme to achieve the world’s most efficient and environmentally friendly shipping.

The Green Shipping Programme aims to find scalable solutions for efficient and environmentally friendly shipping. The results will be cost-effective emission cuts, economic growth, increased competitiveness, and new jobs in Norway. Authorities and industry actors are participating in the programme and are working together to achieve these goals.

What we will achieve:

  • Profitable emission reductions
  • Sustainable logistics
  • Cargo owners will achieve effective and sustainable logistic solutions.
  • Green jobs
  • Increased competitiveness
  • International leadership position
  • Norwegian shipping will be a showcase for the world, an incubator and platform for export of environmental technology and green transport services.