Statoil tracking toward low-carbon future

Norwegian oil company among those signing a pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 17, 2016 at 8:58 AM

STAVANGER, Norway, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Because it accounts for the bulk of the emissions for producers, Norwegian energy company Statoil said it was laying the groundwork for a low-carbon future.

Acting under guidance from the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, the energy company said it was getting in line behind plans to cut 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from offshore operations by 2030. Statoil's share accounts for about 80 percent of that.

"In Statoil's road map for the Norwegian continental shelf towards 2030, our goal is to maintain profitable production at the 2015 level," Arne Sigve Nylund, a Statoil vice president for production, said in a statement. "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."

Citing escalating expenses three years ago, the Norwegian government shelved a plan from energy company Statoil to capture carbon dioxide underground at one of its refineries. Statoil led a government-funded program designed to capture CO2 from the refinery though a change in direction was called for in response to financial burdens.

In January, in what may be the first study of its kind in Europe, the company said it was awarded a contract from the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy to look at ways to store CO2, a potent greenhouse gas, at three offshore locations.

The Norwegian company said that, in light of the Paris climate negotiations last year, the energy industry is at a unique crossroads in a global era where threats from climate change are surfacing at the same time as the world's economy continues to rely on fossil fuels.

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

Statoil last year joined nine of the world's largest oil and gas companies in pledging to play a constructive role in reducing the intensity of global greenhouse gas emissions.

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