"The most costly climate measure of all is to leave the resources we have on the Norwegian Shelf in the ground," says Per Terje Vold, Director General of the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF). Production of Norwegian oil and gas can be an important contributor to reducing global CO2 emissions.
Energy Nation Norway was the theme of OLF's annual conference. The conference highlighted how the Norwegian oil and gas industry is an important factor in the work to solve the climate challenge – not least in an international perspective.
The climate will lose
A report prepared by Econ Pöyry for OLF suggests that the costliest climate measure would be to leave the Norwegian oil and gas resources in the ground on the Shelf.
"Leaving two billion barrels of oil in the ground would mean a loss of value amounting to NOK 100 billion. If we spend the same amount on CO2 management, we could reduce emissions by nearly 150 million tonnes. For this same amount, Norway could purchase emission quotas equivalent to 400 million tonnes. If we want to get the maximum climate benefit for our money, not producing oil and gas is an expensive climate measure," says Per Terje Vold.
Two billion barrels of oil is equivalent to a field the size of Åsgard.
The world needs Norwegian energy
Forecasts prepared by the International Energy Agency, IEA, show that the world will need more energy in the decades to come. It will still take many years until we have good alternatives to fossil-based energy. The political decisions made in the next two years will have a decisive impact on the development of the Norwegian Shelf and Norway's future as an energy superpower.
"The world demands more energy; not least due to growth in countries such as China and India, but African countries are also eager to develop. Norwegian politicians cannot legislate away the fact that the world needs more energy. Therefore, Norwegian oil and gas will be a very important resource for decades to come," says Vold.
Norwegian oil and gas are climate-friendly
Emissions from production in Norway are much lower than in other countries that produce oil and gas.
"In Norway, we produce oil and gas with emissions that amount to just one-third of the global average. Obviously, the climate will be the loser if we reduce our commitment to the world's most climate-friendly oil and gas industry," Vold emphasises.