Norway’s Huge New Oil Project Clashes With Growing Climate Focus - Bloomberg
Photo: Espen Ronnevik / Oyvind Gravas – Equinor ASA
The timing of Norway’s biggest oil project in decades is a bit awkward.
Equinor ASA kicked off its massive #Johan_Sverdrup field, a rare mega-project in the aging North Sea, at a moment where the pressure on the oil industry and governments to act against the climate crisis has never been greater. The field is set to produce crude for 50 years, well beyond the time where the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions should be net zero to avoid warming of more than 1.5 degrees.
“It’s understandable that it could be viewed as a paradox in times like these,” said economics professor Klaus Mohn, the rector of the University of Stavanger, the country’s oil capital. “But Norway has stubbornly maintained a separation between its oil policy on one side and climate policy on the other.”
Sverdrup has already been a boon for Norway’s offshore industry, and now promises to deliver a big production boost for its owners and the country as a whole. Yet, it comes the year after Equinor changed its name from Statoil, to reflect increased investments in renewable energy, and as political debate about the post-oil era in Norway is accelerating.