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Statoil: Producers should play role in climate fight

This year will likely be the hottest year on record in part because of emissions tied to oil and gas.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil said it's the fossil fuels industry that needs to play a role in the fight against climate change UPI/Stephen Shaver | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/04b8480e9c6a565743a41b159be43fc1/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil said it's the fossil fuels industry that needs to play a role in the fight against climate change UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

OSLO, Norway, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said the fight against climate change depends in large part on how oil and gas companies conduct business.

"In a low-carbon future, we need oil and gas producers who can deliver energy at low cost, with low emissions," Statoil CEO Eldar Saetre said during an energy conference in coordinating with the Norwegian government and the International Energy Agency.

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Statoil this year was tasked by the government in Oslo to study ways to store carbon dioxide on the country's continental shelf. The IEA said there are already 15 large-scale CCS projects in operation and six more are on schedule to start next year.

Statoil already counts several projects in its renewable energy portfolio. The company earlier this year unveiled an energy-storage project dubbed Batwind at its Hywind floating offshore wind farm. Through a memorandum of understanding signed with the Scottish government, the company aims to install a Lithium battery storage system within two years.

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The global economy still depends heavily on oil and natural gas, and Statoil is one of Europe's most abundant suppliers. A meteorological report, meanwhile, said 2016 will likely be the hottest year in recorded history as the warming effects of greenhouse gas emissions, some of which come from the burning of fossil fuels, combine with the impact of the weather phenomenon known as La Nina.

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Statoil said global oil demand is on pace to grow at 1.5 percent per year, but to reach to the guidelines of the Paris climate agreement, that demand needs to reverse course. Saetre said his company was doing its part to make the oil and gas industry a bit more responsible, but it was incumbent upon world leaders to take concrete action.

"The climate debate is still long on words, but too short on action," he said. "Without a global perspective, we risk national measures with little real impact."

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