Norway could cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 4 million tonnes per year, or nearly 8% of the total, by providing more renewable electricity for major industrial plants and offshore oil and gas platforms, two government agencies said on Friday.
While Norway is a major producer of petroleum, it has also signed up to the Paris Agreement on climate change, pledging earlier this year to cut its domestic emissions of greenhouse gases in half by 2030.
By the mid-2020s, half of all oil and gas output in Norway could come from platforms receiving renewable power from land, rather than from generators run on diesel or natural gas, petroleum industry regulator NPD said.
"There are significant possibilities for more electrification in Norway, but it also means we must invest more in Norway's power supply in the time ahead," Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru told a news conference.
Norway produces 2% of global oil and is Europe's second biggest supplier of natural gas. Its greenhouse gas commitments cover only domestic emissions, however, and not those from fossil fuels extracted from its territory and used by others.
Offshore platforms at the Troll, Oseberg and other oil and gas fields could be hooked up via subsea cables to the mainland grid, as has been the case in recent years for several new developments, most notably the giant Johan Sverdrup field.
Norway produces nearly all of its electricity from hydropower dams and wind farms.
Projects being developed by the offshore oil industry could cut CO2 emissions from operations by 1.7 million tonnes, the NPD said, while seven land-based plants could cut them by 2.3 million tonnes, the Water Resources and Energy Directorate said.
Equinor's Mongstad oil refinery, the Hammerfest liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and the Kaarstoe petroleum processing and export terminal are among the facilities which could increase the use of renewable power, the reports showed.
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Mark Potter)