* Oil cargo certified as carbon neutral
* Italian refiner Saras to buy first cargo
* Final use of oil still causes emissions
OSLO, April 26 (Reuters) - Sweden's Lundin Energy
has sold what it said is the world's first oil cargo certified
as carbon neutral at the point of production to Italian refiner
Saras, the two companies said on Monday.
Oil companies are increasingly trying to market their
products as cleaner in an effort to secure a future for the
fossil fuel industry in a world where investors, activists and
regulators are demanding action to halt climate change.
While Lundin's crude from the Norwegian Edvard Grieg field
was certified as carbon neutral from exploration, development
and so-called scope 1 and 2 emissions, the major emissions
caused by the oil's final use, or scope 3, are not included.
The North Sea Grieg field causes only 3.8 kilograms of CO2
emissions per barrel of oil equivalent, five times less than the
global average, Lundin said.
Residual emissions from producing the 600,000 barrel cargo,
amounting to 2,302 tonnes of CO2, will be offset via
"nature-based" carbon capture, it added without providing
A company representative was not immediately available for
Lundin has previously said it would invest $39 million in a
project to plant eight million trees in northern Spain and Ghana
as part of the company's wider $750 million programme to
decarbonise its output.
The company said in January that it expects to achieve
carbon neutrality for all its operational CO2 emissions from
"Selling the 'world's first ever certified carbon neutrally
produced oil' is a milestone that few, if any, producers will be
able to replicate any time soon," Jefferies analysts said in a
note to clients.
The certification of the Lundin cargo was provided by
Intertek Group, which tests, inspects and certifies
that products meet quality, safety, environmental and other
standards for clients including Carrefour,
ConocoPhillips and Unilever.
"This sale will carry the Intertek CarbonZero Verified mark
and details of this and all traceable certifications are
publicly listed for investors, traders, regulators and other
stakeholders," Intertek said in a separate statement.
Lundin has told Reuters it was also looking at certifying
barrels from Equinor-operated Johan Sverdrup, western
Europe's largest oilfield by production, in which it holds a 20%
Texas-based Occidental Petroleum said in January
that it had sold the first 100% carbon neutral crude cargo,
offsetting emissions by buying carbon credits on the market.
However, the transaction itself has not been certified by a
third party, unlike Lundin's deal with Saras.
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Nerijus Adomaitis
Editing by David Goodman)