The shelf in 2008 - Environment

Emissions and discharges from the petroleum activities largely follow production volumes. Increased emissions and discharges occur as a consequence of longer distances to the market, tail production and extended field lifetime.

Emissions to air consist mainly of exhaust gases from combustion of gas in turbines, gas flaring and combustion of diesel. These exhaust gases contain components such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

The petroleum sector accounts for about one-fourth of Norway's total greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the emissions from this sector are linked to energy production on the offshore facilities.

Generally speaking, emissions vary from field to field as well as over the course of the field's lifetime. According to the NPD's forecast, emissions of CO2 will continue to increase up to 2013, and then decline. The most important reasons for the increase are extended lifetime and higher energy needs associated with tail production, in addition to longer transport distances for gas to the market.

Key emission sources for both CO2 and NOx include burning of gas in turbines and motors, gas flaring and diesel consumption on the facilities.

In 2008, the Government established a project called Climate Cure 2020. The objective of the project is to produce basic data for evaluating new policy instruments aimed at achieving the Government's climate goals. The NPD is participating in this work together with other agencies, under the leadership of the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority.

During the fall of 2008, the NPD took part in work to evaluate the cost-benefit of introducing the Barents Sea requirements (zero discharges to sea) in the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea. The resulting report will be published shortly.

Since the very beginning of the petroleum activities on the Norwegian shelf, Norway has focused on reducing gas flaring. Little flaring takes place on the Norwegian shelf compared with other petroleum-producing countries. The NPD is now involved in an international joint effort to reduce flaring on a global level. This can result in less greenhouse gas emissions and enhanced value creation in those countries which succeed in implementing these principles.

The NPD also participates in the work on the comprehensive management plan for the Norwegian Sea, which will be submitted to the Storting during the spring of 2009.

Topics: Environment