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Status of emissions from the petroleum sector

30/05/2016 In 2015, the petroleum activities generated 13.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. This is an increase of 400,000 tonnes (3 per cent) compared with the previous year.

The primary cause of the increase is start-up difficulties on the Knarr field and start-up of the Valemon and Edvard Grieg fields, which started producing in 2015. Total CO2 emissions from producing fields that were operational before 2015 are on the same level as in 2014. However, NOx emissions are down 11 per cent (5600 tonnes). This is primarily due to reduced drilling activity and use of mobile facilities.

The prognosis for the next five years shows that CO2 emissions will stabilise around the 2015 level, even as several new fields start production. The Johan Sverdrup field will be supplied with power from shore. Edvard Grieg, Ivar Aasen and Gina Krog will also receive power from shore in connection with the second development stage for Johan Sverdrup.

The authorities have a good overview of emissions from the petroleum sector in Norway. The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association has established a joint database for reporting discharges to sea and emissions to air from the activities. All operators on the Norwegian continental shelf report discharge/emission data directly into this database.

The emissions are largely generated as a result of combustion of gas and diesel in turbines, engines and boilers that keep the facilities operational. Safety flaring of gas also generates CO2 emissions. Ventilating and diffuse gas emissions from storage and loading of crude oil are also sources of CO2 emissions.

Total nmVOC emissions (volatile oil compounds, oil vapour) amounted to 46,500 tonnes in 2015, six per cent less than in 2014. Methane emissions (CH4) amounted to 28,900 tonnes in 2015, eight per cent less than in 2014.

Emissions in the petroleum sector originate from facilities on the shelf and from the onshore facilities that are covered under the Petroleum Taxation Act. These emissions are regulated by the Petroleum Act, CO2 Tax Act, Act concerning special tax, Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Act and the Pollution Control Act, among others.

Statistics Norway (SSB), which recently published preliminary 2015 figures for Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions, also includes emissions from the part of onshore facilities that are not covered under the above definition.


For more information about emissions to air from the petroleum industry, see



Updated: 30/05/2016