A possibility for change, Norway greens say / News / The Foreigner

A possibility for change, Norway greens say. Norwegian environmentalists see Helge Lund’s departure from Statoil as an opportunity for renewal. “I think this [his resignation] is something that had to come,” Arild Skedsmo of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) tells The Foreigner, Wednesday. “It comes at a time where we see the company is using an increasing share of its resources to be involved in new and technologically and environmentally challenging operations. I’m particularly thinking of tar sands, shale gas, and the Arctic.”

statoil, oil, arctic, tarsands, canada, gas



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A possibility for change, Norway greens say

Published on Wednesday, 15th October, 2014 at 13:18 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 15th October 2014 at 19:32.

Norwegian environmentalists see Helge Lund’s departure from Statoil as an opportunity for renewal.

An oil tanker (illustration photo)
Norwegian environmentalists hope the horizon will look brighter with a new Statoil CEO.An oil tanker (illustration photo)
Photo: Kristopher Edwin/Flickr


“I think this [his resignation] is something that had to come,” Arild Skedsmo of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) tells The Foreigner, Wednesday.

“It comes at a time where we see the company is using an increasing share of its resources to be involved in new and technologically and environmentally challenging operations. I’m particularly thinking of tar sands, shale gas, and the Arctic.”

“These are expensive, technically demanding, and they come at high environmental cost, says Mr Skedsmo.

“He wasn’t the right man”

Greenpeace and their ship the ‘Esperanza’ travelled to the Barents Sea earlier this year to try to stop Statoil’s Arctic drilling activities about 117 miles south-east of Bear Island on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Police eventually ended environmentalists’ action after the organisation boarded the Transocean Spitsbergen rig, blocking Statoil’s drilling. The rig drilled dry.

Truls Gulowsen in Greenpeace comments that Helge Lund stepping down “is good for Statoil and good for the climate.”

“The world is already on overtime transitioning to a renewables society, and Helge Lund has clearly shown that he is not the right man to lead Statoil in that direction.”

“The [company’s] focus has been on expensive and demanding oil projects, despite at times impressive climate rhetoric, and [this] has shown that Mr Lund neither could, nor wanted to realise what is needed to solve the climate crisis,” says Mr Gullowsen.

The Mongstad mess

This occurred during Mr Lund's time as Statoil CEO. Mongstad, a gas-fired power plant in western Norway’s Hordaland County part-owned by the Norwegian state through interests in Gassnova and Statoil, was meant to be the previous government’s so-called ‘moon landing’.

It was to be Norway’s and the Centre-Left coalition’s pioneering project regarding perceived full-scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

Hit by future viability questions, a political saga featuring Ministerial non-disclosure issues, a parliamentary grilling, and a parliamentary smack on the wrist, precursor the Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) opened in May 2012.

Some 18 months later, the then government went off the idea of full-scale CCS completely, crashing the (gas-driven) initiative craft into a crater.

Canada has since successfully brought its first CCS plant online.

So long, and thanks for all the embellishment

Bellona Foundation leader Frederic Hauge thanks former Statoil CEO Helge Lund for the decade-long contest, and says “we’ve had many disagreements the past ten years.”

“This particularly applies to those times Mr Lund tricked us into believing that he would actually turn the company around in a greener direction by focusing on offshore wind energy and CO2 capture at Mongstad, leaving the company instead in shale gas and tar sands.”

“Mr Lund chose, rather, to cooperate with Russian company Rosneft, which, according to Russian environmental authorities has the worst track-record when it comes to oil spills and environmental crime in Russia, instead of developing Statoil in a greener direction,” Frederic Hauge adds.

Miljøpartiet De Grønne (MDG) MP Rasmus Hansson is also critical to Mr Lund regarding Canada and Mongstad.

“He has got away with vapid climate rhetoric far too lightly, while his company has invested in emission-intensive projects such as tar sands in Canada and has broken purification promises at Mongstad.”

Bellona’s Frederic Hauge says that “we hope Helge Lund's departure also marks the end of his mindset.”

Truls Gulowsen at Greenpeace wishes whoever the future Statoil top dog is well.

“A new CEO will provide new opportunities. I wish a new Statoil luck with the necessary transition to an energy company that takes climate change seriously,” he says.

“I fully hope that we will see a platform where Statoil uses its financial resources to put into a sector of the energy industry where we can see longer-term and sustainable solutions. I’m thinking particularly of offshore renewable energy in this case,” the WWF’s Arild Skedsmo concludes.



Published on Wednesday, 15th October, 2014 at 13:18 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 15th October 2014 at 19:32.

This post has the following tags: statoil, oil, arctic, tarsands, canada, gas.





  
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