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VOC target met

May 12, 2003, 11:00 CEST

New Norwegian government limits on offshore emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds (nmVOC), which came into effect on 1 April, have been met by Statoil.

The group had reduced these emissions from 40 per cent of its offshore loading operations – to the benefit of the environment.

Statoil heads an industrial collaboration with 23 other oil companies which have interests in Norwegian offshore fields using offshore loading.

This partnership aims to cut nmVOC emissions from such operations, reports special adviser Egil Tveit in the Exploration & Production Norway business area.

Emissions to the air from the offshore sector include carbon dioxide, methane and nmVOC as well as sulphur and nitrogen oxides.

These pollutants contribute to the greenhouse effect, acid precipitation and the formation of ground-level ozone.

Statoil considers it very important to make a positive contribution to the environment by reducing the release of nmVOC – which is included among the greenhouse gases.

The Norwegian authorities require that 40 per cent of offshore loading operations should be covered by systems for reducing nmVOC at 1 April.

This requirement is being expanded in 2004 to embrace storage operations on production ships and storage ships.

“The reduction will rise to 70 per cent in 2005, and no less than 95 per cent in 2006,” says Mr Tveit.

Six of seven shuttle tankers equipped with systems to recover nmVOC work for Statoil. All such vessels off Norway must have recovery equipment in place by 1 January 2006.

According to Mr Tveit, the group and its partners are well placed to meet these demands.

Statoil has also installed nmVOC recovery plants on its Norne and Åsgard A production ships in the Norwegian Sea, and another is planned on the Åsgard C storage ship next year.