Mammoth field fires Norway's oil industry

Mammoth field fires Norway's oil industry

Located on the Johann Sea coast in the North Sea, Norway (AFP) - billions of dollars are buried under yellow metal legs under the sea. As the world works hard to stop global warming, a huge oil field revives Norway's oil sector.

"On a large scale!", A happy Arne Sigve Niland cheers the head of Norway operations of energy giant Equinor.

"At its peak, it would represent about 25-30 percent of total oil production from the Norwegian continental shelf," he says when he takes journalists on a tour of the Johan Svedrup oil field, firmly secured over his head is.

Fifty years after the Scandinavian country first attacked black gold, the region promises another half-century of oil trade, despite growing opposition to fossil fuels.

This is music to the ears of Norway's oil sector, a steady decline in production since the turn of the millennium and a drop in oil prices since 2014.

Johann Sverdrup - named after a Norwegian Prime Minister - means the reception of jobs and investments.

According to Equinor, which is 67 percent owned by the Norwegian state, the sector represents a windfall of 1.43 trillion kronor ($ 157 billion, 141 billion euros), which is more than 900 billion as it ends up in the state treasury .

A windfall that almost ended second hand: Trial drilling by the French oil company Elf in the 1970s, now a part of the total, failed to find the oil field by just a few meters.

Norway's King Harald will formally inaugurate the area in January, but production resumed in early October and 350,000 barrels are already being pumped each day.

According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, "probably" it is the most productive region in Western Europe.

When it reaches its peak at the end of 2022, the region - which includes Sweden's Lundin, Norway's Aker BP, and France's total companies - is expected to double, or about 660,000 barrels per day. Will produce

The installation - consisting of four platforms, soon to be five, connected by suspended walkways - is so large that workers use large blue three-wheeled scooters to get around.

The site is powered by electricity, which is supplied by a 160-kilometer (100-mile) underwater cable.

And this clean energy is sourced from hydroelectric dams.

At the production level, each barrel has 25 times less carbon footprint than the global average, says Rune Nedregaard, head of operations at Johan Sverdrup.

"This is important from a climatic point of view. Given that we need oil, it is important to produce that oil as efficiently as possible."

cash cow

But climate change knows no boundaries, and when oil is burned, it is as polluted as any other petrol, environmental activists argue.

Johann Sverdrup's recoverable reserves of 2.7 billion barrels represent more than 20 times Norway's total annual greenhouse gas emissions, he says.

"Friends of Earth, says the head of the Norwegian branch of Silky Ask Lundberg," it is oil policies that lay the foundation stone for climate policy, and there must be another way around it.

Oil and natural gas have separated the Scandinavian country into the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, as well as 10 trillion kronor ($ 1 trillion) for future generations.

But a growing number of Norwegian wants the country to accelerate its transformation to a green economy, opinion polls show, and more and more political movements have led to the closure of the oil sector altogether or even to complete it Is called to end the way.

Two non-governmental organizations have sued the state for revoking a drilling license recently granted to them in the Arctic. After losing their case in the district court, the NGO now awaited the verdict in the appeals court.

The head of Greenpeace Norway, Friday Playm, said, "The government cannot ignore the dangerous effects that exports are having on the climate."

"Oil is oil, no matter where it is lit."

To limit global warming to 1.5 ° C, in line with the Paris Agreement, scientists say it would be necessary to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Norway sees itself as a climate champion, heavily subsidizing the purchase of electric cars and generously raising efforts to protect the rainforest.

But it is one of the few countries in Europe that now has higher greenhouse gas emissions than in 1990.

Norway's oil and gas industry has seen a 73 percent increase in emissions during that period, and they now account for 27 percent of the country's total emissions, official figures show.

The government has emphasized the need to prepare the economy for the post-oil era, but at the same time, it continues to issue a record number of exploration licenses.

Frankly, it is difficult to cut a cash cow that finances a fifth of the budget.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg"The person who will turn off the lights on the Norwegian continental shelf is not yet born," he said at the end of 2018.

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