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    Norway to continue producing oil and gas beyond 2050: govt


The country will also continue holding regular petroleum licensing rounds.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Norway to continue producing oil and gas beyond 2050: govt

Norway will embrace offshore wind energy and other low-carbon technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) but will continue producing oil and gas beyond 2050, according to the government's long-term energy strategy published on June 11.

Other oil and gas producing nations in Europe such as Denmark and Ireland have announced plans to halt oil and gas licensing and steadily phase out production. Norway, however, will continue producing hydrocarbons over the next three decades and beyond, the government said, although it forecasts a natural decline of 65% by 2050. The country will also carry on holding regular licensing rounds.

"We will facilitate a future-oriented Norwegian oil and gas industry capable of delivering production with low emissions within the framework of our climate policy," petroleum minister Tina Bru said in a statement. "Retaining expertise and technologies in the oil and gas sector is also vital for the development of new industries and technologies such as carbon capture and storage, offshore wind and hydrogen."

"The main goal of the government's petroleum policy – to facilitate profitable production in the oil and gas industry in a long-term perspective – is firmly in place," Bru said.

At the same time, Norway will strive to make its oil and gas production cleaner, by continuing with the electrification of offshore platforms. It will strengthen its national power grid, to provide more onshore hydroelectricity to offshore platforms. And in 2022, it aims to award its first offshore wind farm licences.

The government also envisages the creation of hubs for hydrogen energy that will help industry decarbonise, and the expanded use of CCS. Norway's flagship CCS venture is Longship, which aims to collect up to 5mn metric tons/year of CO2 from industries in Norway and elsewhere in Europe and store it under the North Sea.

Norway unveiled its energy strategy days before its national oil company announced a fast-tracked plan to reduce its emissions and expand its low-carbon activities.