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Increased environmental commitment on the NCS

November 11, 2015, 14:00 CET

The Sleipner field in the North Sea, where the export compressor has been modified so that annual emissions of CO2 have been reduced by 24,000 tonnes. (Photo: Kjetil Alsvik)

Arne Sigve Nylund

Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president, Development and Production Norway. (Photo: Harald Pettersen)

"In Norway, we produce oil and gas with half of the CO2 emissions per unit of output compared to the global industry average. By aiming even higher now, we are reinforcing our leading role in the coming years as a low-emission producer of oil and gas,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president, Development and Production Norway (DPN).

In 2008, the petroleum industry, led by Konkraft, agreed on a goal of improved energy efficiency equivalent to 1 million tonnes of CO2 between 2008 and 2020. Statoil’s share of this was 800,000 tonnes.

“For several years now, we have been working hard at managing our energy use and improving energy efficiency on all our installations, which means that we have already practically achieved our Konkraft target. That is why we are now setting a new target of another 400,000 tonnes by 2020,” says Nylund.

With a total reduction of 1.2 million tonnes, Statoil will have reduced emissions on the NCS by the equivalent of emissions from about 750,000 cars, or every third car in Norway.

“Statoil aims to maintain profitable production from the NCS at current levels until 2030 and beyond. If we are to succeed, it is vital that we maintain our leading position in low emissions,” says Nylund.

No one simple solution

Statoil’s performance so far is essentially the sum of a variety of measures on the continental shelf.

Knut Helland

Knut Helland, head of energy in DPN. (Photo: Christian Djupvik Brandt-Hansen)

“These results have been achieved through many different measures on the shelf. Here are two examples. Much of the gas from the NCS to Europe goes via Sleipner. There we have modified the export compressor so that annual emissions of CO2 have been reduced by 24,000 tonnes. At Oseberg Field Centre, we now use a main turbine generator combined with a steam turbine. That provides an annual saving of 44,000 tonnes of CO2,” says Knut Helland, head of energy in DPN.

But future results are not a straightforward matter.

“There is no one single solution that solves everything, but it is the sum of hard work over time and many different measures that produce results. We are systematically studying each installation to identify ways of reducing CO2 emissions. We have already identified dozens of different measures, such as operational technology solutions, new technologies and other ways to streamline operations in order to reduce emissions. And this work will continue,” says Nylund.

Important to ensure competitiveness

In general, CO2 emissions per unit of output increase as fields mature. But the measures implemented by Statoil will mean that CO2 emissions from its NCS installations will not rise with the increasing age of the fields.  

Bjørn Otto Sverdrup

Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, head of corporate sustainability at Statoil. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

Norwegian industry has a good working relationship with the government and a framework that encourages eco-friendly innovation.  

“The measures we have implemented, and plan to implement, will not only lead to reduced emissions but also value creation. Statoil believes it is very important to establish a common framework and price for CO2 across borders that will stimulate industry in general to increase its environmental efforts. Our current measures to reduce emissions will be one of our key competitive advantages in the future, as environmental requirements become increasingly stringent,” says Nylund.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf is an important contribution to Statoil’s total environmental commitment. And our work to reduce flaring, increase carbon capture and the research and development within renewable energy sources are other important elements in our effort to achieve our ambition to remain a leader in carbon efficiency,” says Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, head of corporate sustainability at Statoil.