Denmark Mulls End to Oil, Gas Exploration
Denmark is considering whether to halt the issue of new oil and gas licences after setting itself ambitious climate targets, Reuters reported on October 11.
The green agenda has taken centre stage in Danish politics, after the Social Democratic party formed a new government in June with left-leaning allies. The government recently pledged a 70% cut in emissions by 2030 from 1990 levels, as an intermediary step towards becoming fossil fuel-free by 2050.
“We have started a work in the new government to assess the situation,” the prime minister Mette Frederiksen told reporters on October 11, according to Reuters. “When we have the foundation we will conclude if there will be an eighth licensing round or not.”
The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) said in February it had received applications for five concessions in its latest licensing round from France’s Total, Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum, Hungary’s Mol and the UK’s Ardent Oil. Awards were expected during the summer but were delayed.
The oil and gas industry has argued that by limiting exploration, Denmark will simply have to import more fossil fuels in the long term. Denmark is expected to produce 105,000 b/day of oil and 44,000 boe/day of gas this year, according to DEA. It became a net importer of oil last year and a net importer of gas last month when Total shut down the country’s largest gas field, Tyra, in order to start a three-year redevelopment programme. The field accounted for 90% of Danish supply.