Western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer, Norway, will continue to develop its oil and gas industry, the incoming minority coalition government said in its platform on Wednesday.
Technologies to reduce emissions and fight climate change will take center stage in the new government’s policies, but the development of Norwegian energy resources will also be pursued to ensure a fair and gradual energy transition, the Labour Party and the rural Centre Party said in a joint policy statement after agreeing to form a coalition government.
The Labour Party won the elections in Norway last month, beating the outgoing Conservatives, but it failed to secure a majority in Parliament, so it formed a coalition with the Centre Party.
Labour’s Jonas Gahr Stoere, who will be the next prime minister, said ahead of the elections in September: “I believe that calling time on our oil and gas industry is the wrong industrial policy and the wrong climate policy.”
Norway will continue to grant permits for oil and gas exploration on the Norwegian shelf and will keep the current system of oil auctions, the incoming government says. Over the next four years—during the term in office of the government—most of the exploration activity will take place in mature areas of the shelf.
The government will also work with the oil and gas industry to ensure that emissions from the Norwegian shelf will be cut by 50 percent by 2030 and to net-zero by 2050, the incoming government said.
“We are pleased that the new government will continue the main oil and gas policies of the previous government,” Anniken Hauglie, Director General of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, said today, commenting on the incoming government’s platform.
Access to acreage and more permits is the single most important instrument the government has to ensure not only revenues from the oil and gas industry, but also to fund the energy transition, Hauglie said.