Increased Norwegian oil production increases global emissions

Oslo, 15.03.2023

On behalf of WWF, Naturvernforbundet, Natur og Ungdom and Greenpeace, Vista have analyzed the climate impact of Norwegian oil production.

The climate impact of the Norwegian oil industry is receiving increasing attention. Following the Norwegian Supreme Court's ruling in the climate lawsuit from Natur og Ungdom and Greenpeace against the state, there is now a requirement that global emission effects be considered in the consideration of the plan for development and operation of oil and gas fields (PUDs). However, the size of total emissions globally from increased Norwegian petroleum production is a controversial topic, and in this report Vista Analyse assess the global emission effects.

Our conclusion is that increased Norwegian oil production results in a net increase in global emissions, regardless of scenario and time horizon. Net increase in emissions is 47 kg CO2 equivalents per barrel of oil extracted in Norway in the baseline scenario and 90 kg CO2e in the low-emission scenario. Increased gas production results in somewhat higher emissions globally in the baseline scenario, around 6 kg CO2 equivalents per barrel-equivalent gas extracted. In the low-emission scenario, increased gas production results in emissions of 41 kg CO2 equivalents.

Our conclusions are consistent with what researchers affiliated with Statistics Norway have concluded about the net climate effect of reducing oil production. However, our conclusions differ from the conclusions in a report Rystad Energi prepared for the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (now Offshore Norway) in 2021, and a similar report Rystad Energy has prepared for the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in 2023. The different conclusions come from a number of different assumptions regarding market response, substitution and emission intensities.

You can read the full report here (in Norwegian).

The report was launched during a breakfast meeting at Kulturhuset in Oslo on the 16th of March, where author of the report Haakon Riekeles held a presentation, and a panel discussion was held afterwards. A recording of the event is available on Naturvernforbundet's YouTube channel. uses cookies to ensure you get the best experienceGDPR