The shelf in 2009 - Environment

To a large degree, emissions and discharges from petroleum activities are a result of the production. Increased emissions and discharges result from longer distances to the market and extended lifetime for the fields.

Emissions to air consist mostly of exhaust gases from combustion of gas in turbines, flaring of gas and combustion of diesel. The most important of these exhaust gases are carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

The petroleum sector is responsible for about one-fourth of the total Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions. The majority of the emissions from this sector come from energy production on the facilities on the continental shelf.

In general, the emissions vary between fields and over the lifetime of the individual field. According to the forecast from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the CO2 emissions will increase until 2019, and then decrease. The major causes of the increase are extended lifetime as well as longer transport distances to the gas markets.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is in the final stages of the work on Climate Cure 2020. The purpose of Climate Cure 2020 is to identify measures and means which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Norway and thus meet the requirements in the Storting's climate settlement.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is responsible for an industry sector analysis which will take a closer look at measures and means in the petroleum industry. In addition, we are preparing a report on capture, transport and storage of carbon dioxide which includes both the petroleum industry and land-based industry with significant emissions. Climate Cure 2020 will be unveiled at a seminar in Oslo on 15 February.

Geological storage of carbon dioxide is a focus area for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. Safe repositories must be in place if capture, transport and storage of carbon dioxide is to become a viable method for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Joint European regulations for storage of carbon dioxide will be introduced in June 2011.

Norway has, from the very beginning of the petroleum activities on the Norwegian shelf, been concerned with reducing gas flaring. Flaring on the Norwegian shelf is minor compared with other petroleum-producing countries. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has involved itself in an international cooperation project in order to reduce flaring globally. This may result in both reduced emission of greenhouse gases and increased creation of value in the countries where this work succeeds.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has participated in the work on the comprehensive management plan for the Norwegian Sea, presented to the Storting in spring 2009. In addition, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate participates in the preparatory work for the management plan for the North Sea and the updated management plan for the Barents Sea and the sea areas off Lofoten.

Topics: Environment