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NCS important for the world

August 22, 2006, 17:15 CEST

Statoil's focused efforts on the Norwegian continental shelf will make an important contribution to covering the world's increasing energy needs, said chief executive Helge Lund in his opening speech at the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) oil exhibition and conference on 22 August.

"The world has sufficient reserves of hydrocarbons but they are unevenly distributed, with the bulk of proven reserves in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union," said Mr Lund.

"This is a considerable distance from the important US and European energy markets, while the resource-rich areas are facing social, political and environmental challenges."

The challenges associated with the gap between energy production and demand are the theme of this year's ONS show. Mr Lund believes that Norway can help to bridge that gap.

"Norway already covers 10% of Europe's gas demand," said Mr Lund.

"The start-up of the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea marks the first step in the development of a new petroleum province and will be a new contribution to meeting the global energy demand.

"The gas liquefaction plant near Hammerfest in Finnmark county pushes the boundaries for technological and environmental solutions and it is a good example of Statoil's willingness and ability to play a pioneering role.

"Further exploitation of the potential on the NCS is one of Statoil's key strategies to help cover the world's energy requirements. This is not the time to rest on our laurels," Mr Lund emphasised.

Most oil and gas companies achieve record results these days but economic growth means increased challenges. Energy needs grow in line with growing prosperity. From 2000 to 2006 the world's oil consumption rose by nearly 10%. During the same period the oil price almost doubled. The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts an annual increase in energy needs of 1.4% up to 2030.

"At the same time the greenhouse gas challenge is growing," Mr Lund noted. "The IEA predicts that emissions of carbon dioxide in 2030 will be 52% higher than in 2003. Statoil aims to be in the forefront in reducing carbon emissions."

The Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) conference and exhibition takes place in Stavanger from 22 to 25 August.