Wednesday, October 20

SV to transfer government power to the Storting for new oil fields

SV’s Lars Haltbrekken and Kari Elisabeth Kaski demonstrated together with Nature and Youth last week.

SV believes that there is a great danger that new projects will only be profitable for oil companies.

Disagreement over oil and climate policy was one of the reasons SV walked out of the polls in Hurdal a week ago over a new red-green government.

SV is now pushing a new climate proposal. It will be the first test of how far the Labor Party and the Socialist People’s Party are from the Socialist People’s Party in terms of further development of the oil and gas fields.

– We believe there are reasons to lower the cap further due to the oil tax package that the majority approved last summer in the Storting. It leads to a sharp increase in the number of investments, says Lars Haltbrekken.

He points out that fossil resources will be less profitable when the world complies with the Paris Agreement, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and gets rid of fossil energy.

In the last four years, the Storting has only considered two oil fields: Johan Sverdrup and Johan Castberg. So there are good reasons to have a discussion in the Storting about several of the oil and gas projects that are planned on the Norwegian shelf in the future.

Of the fields and investments envisaged in the oil tax package (58) under the current regime, only four of them will be considered in the Storting, he says.

Capped at NOK 5 billion, 27 of the projects will be processed at Løvebakken.

– There is a great danger of starting projects that are profitable for the oil companies, but which are not profitable for the Norwegian community, says Haltbrekken.

– More activity generates more income

Norwegian Oil & Gas Director Anniken Hauglie says the tax package was crucial to keeping the industry going.

– Analyzes show that companies that received help from the tax package are also involved in a number of green initiatives in Norway and abroad. Offshore wind will be highlighted as an area with good activity in 2020 and 2021, he writes in an email.

According to Hauglie, the calculations SV refers to are static. She believes that they do not take into account what the purpose of the tax package was: to maintain the level of activity in the industry.

– A higher level of activity also provides additional tax revenue to the state, writes Hauglie.

She “agrees with Haltbrekken that socio-economic profitability should be a guiding principle for investments in the Norwegian platform.”

– The goal is fewer developments

– What will be the consequence of lowering the roof?

– We get a much more thorough treatment of various projects. The Storting will have the opportunity to analyze each individual project and assess the profitability and climate of the projects. Several of these projects will generate fairly large emissions, says Haltbrekken.

– Does this mean that fewer fields will be developed?

– Our goal is that. We want to limit the activity.

– Do you expect the support of the Labor Party and the Socialist People’s Party?

– We hope to receive support. In this way we can get a more comprehensive treatment of the consequences for climate, offshore wind and financial risk, says Haltbrekken.

Silent work during negotiations

APS climate spokesperson Espen Barth Eide notes that the party is negotiating in Hurdal. It will only answer questions when the platform for a new government is ready.

Like SV, the environmental movement is critical to the current system.

– Oil interests collide more and more with the interests of the State and climate policy. Then it must be the Storting that approves or rejects the plans for the development and operation of new oil projects, says Karoline Andaur. She is the Secretary General of the World Wide Fund for Nature.

She demands “an end to multi-billion dollar investments outside of democratic control.”

Since 2014, the Norwegian authorities have approved 22 oil and gas projects with a total value of NOK 146.7 billion without the cases being considered by the Storting.

More than 20 years ago the Storting decided to simplify treatment.

In 2012, the limit was raised to 20 billion. The reason was that “in recent years there has been a significant increase in costs in the oil sector.”

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