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Norway Isn’t Giving Up On New Oil Development

Norway is betting on offshore wind, hydrogen, and electrification to meet its commitment under the Paris Agreement, but its oil and gas sector will continue to play a major role in long-term job creation, economic growth prospects, and value for the country, the government said on Friday.

Norway, Western Europe’s largest oil producer, is preparing to face the energy transition, yet it believes that it can develop its petroleum resources to deliver low-emission production within its climate policy, the government’s White Paper ‘Putting Energy to Work’ showed.

“Retaining expertise and technologies in the oil and gas sector is also vital for the development of new industries and technologies such as carbon capture and storage, offshore wind and hydrogen,” Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru, said in a statement.

“The main goal of the government’s petroleum policy - to facilitate profitable production in the oil and gas industry in a long term perspective - is firmly in place,” she added.

According to the Norwegian government, the domestic oil and gas industry currently faces two major challenges—maturing oilfields and increasing demands for lower emissions.

“The petroleum sector will remain a significant factor in the Norwegian economy in the years to come, although not on the same scale as today. The government will facilitate long-term economic growth in the petroleum industry within the framework of our climate policy and our commitments under the Paris Agreement,” the government said.

Norway has become yet another oil-producing country that has said it would not stop investing in oil and gas since the International Energy Agency suggested in a report last month that the world wouldn’t need new investment in fossil fuels ever if it wants to achieve net-zero in 2050.

The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association has also commented on the IEA report, saying that it “does not share the assumption that Opec members alone should account for more than half of oil and gas production for the world market in a 2050 perspective. If demand does not decline as rapidly as the IEA assumes in its scenario, and the supply side is simultaneously choked off, global energy provision could be threatened and lead to very high energy prices.”

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on June 11 2021 said:
    Oil and gas will continue to be a driver of the Norwegian economy well into the future. After all future generations of the Norwegian people will depend for financial support on Norway’s sovereign fund, the biggest in the world, which was created with oil and gas money.

    The Norwegian oil industry like the global industry as a whole believes that the best way to combat climate change is to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels and not the actual use of fossil fuels.

    Furthermore, when a country has important oil and gas assets like Norway, it will be very irrational to divest of them no matter what pressure it comes under. That is why the
    Norwegian Oil and Gas Association like many producing countries in the world has rejected the IEA’s ill-thought-out and impractical net-zero emissions 2050 scenario commenting that if global oil supply is choked off, global energy provision could be threatened leading to very high spikes in oil prices.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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