Fossil energy – Norway
The European Commission on October 13 proposed a ban on EU member states buying oil and gas from projects in the Arctic, even though the bloc currently sources a significant share of its gas from fields within the Arctic share in Russia.
The new prime minister of Norway warned in an interview with the Financial Times (FT) on October 25 that ending oil and gas production would undermine the energy transition.
The ban would also affect projects in Norway’s frontier Barents Sea region, including those that supply Equinor’s Hammerfest LNG plant.
Jonas Gahr Store, was appointed as Norway’s prime minister on October 14 following elections, told FT that if the country ended hydrocarbon activities, Europe would struggle to deliver on its green goals.
“If we were to say from one day to the other that we close down production from the Norwegian shelf, I believe that would put a stop to an industrial transition that is needed to succeed in the momentum towards net zero,” he said. “So we are about to develop and transit, not close down.”
Norway’s former government unveiled an energy strategy in June, under which the country would continue exploring for and producing oil and gas for decades to come. But it also wants to embrace hydrogen and renewables as low-carbon energy sources, as well as carbon capture and storage to decarbonise difficult-to-abate industries.
Even though climate change took centre stage in the run-up to Norway’s elections in September, the energy policy of the new coalition government of the Labour and Centre parties largely aligns with that of the former Conservatives-led administration.