The shelf in 2004 - External environment

14/01/2005 During 2004 the NPD contributed to a series of different projects concerning external environment.

The zero discharge work
The Storting (parliament) wants zero environmentally harmful discharges to sea.

In the ”Zero Discharge Group” the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) is cooperating with the SFT (Norwegian Pollution Control Authority) and the industry to implement the zero discharge goal before the end of 2005. In this work the NPD is focusing particularly on safeguarding resource exploitation and value creation on the fields. Originating with the Zero Discharge Group, the NPD carried out a project in 2004 together with OLF and the PSA (Petroleum Safety Authority Norway), that looked more closely at the possible negative consequences of injecting produced water back into the reservoirs. The concern is that reinjection of produced water in some cases might lead to acidification of the reservoirs and loss of injectivity.

In the zero discharge work the NPD has also been focusing on the need to choose the most cost-effective measures on the shelf, and in 2004 we prepared a cost curve relating to potential zero discharge measures on the shelf. The cost curve is used in ranking the zero discharge measures that give the most environmental benefit for the money, when the shelf is viewed as a whole.

Energy supply
On assignment from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE), the NPD led an assessment process during 2004 where we and selected operator companies looked more closely at the possibilities for a more efficient energy supply to the offshore facilities. This work is a part of the national process of falling into line with the Kyoto Protocol, which includes finding out what CO2-reducing measures can be done here at home. The work was collated in a report which is available on the NPD’s Internet pages.

The Barents Sea management plan
For about three years the NPD has participated in the work of assessing year-round petroleum activities in the Lofoten-Barents Sea area (ULB). The work is based on existing knowledge and was summed up in an Appendix to the Storting White Paper No 38. The NPD was contributing during the entire process and prepared, inter alia, a basis report on environmental technology. In 2004 the work of preparing the scientific basis for an overall management plan for the Barents Sea was begun, taking ULB as a starting point. The purpose of the management plan is to set up framework conditions that make it possible to balance the industry interests associated with fishing, maritime transport and petroleum activities within the framework of sustainable development.

Environment booklet
The NPD contributes to the MPE’s annual Environment booklet, which provides factual information on environmental requirements and discharge trends on the Norwegian shelf.

The 2004 edition had a section on the handling of discharges to sea, with a special focus on cleaning technology for produced water. The Environment booklet, which is issued in March, will contain new forecasts for discharges to sea and emissions to air.

Contact in the NPD:
Eldbjørg Vaage Melberg, tel +47 51876100

Updated: 04/09/2009