The Arctic regions hold 25 percent of the remaining oil and gas reserves worldwide.
An increasing demand for hydrocarbons and the declining reserves in other places puts the Arctic on the top of the list for many oil and gas companies.
The Arctic offers numerous challenges when it comes to oil and gas production.
These are related to suitable technology, but also of an environmental and social nature, such as the need for good co-existence with fisheries and indigenous people that want to maintain a traditional lifestyle, maintaining a clean sea, and migratory animals such as reindeer and caribou.
Providing adequate oil spill equipment, production equipment and emergency response measures in icy, inaccessible areas in tundra far away from land, etc. is another challenge.
Prepared for challenges
To be prepared for the challenges ahead, Statoil has established an environmental and social strategy, which has so far focused on the Barents Region. The main objective of the strategy is to develop technology and operational procedures that allow the company to operate in a sustainable manner anywhere in the Arctic by 2030.
Statoil will have a strong focus on Arctic areas. Intense research and development programs are tailored to meet the challenges ahead in technology such as drilling and production systems, long distance transportation of unprocessed oil and gas, material science, oil spill response, health and working environment in cold climate, etc.
Memoranda of Understanding with various reputable institutions have been signed to learn and widen our expertise. Agreements range from UNEP Grid Arendal, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk Oblast to the Sami University College in Kautokeino and others.
The aim is to improve the knowledge and expertise of the potential stakeholders that will face oil and gas production in the future as well as increasing our own competence.
Information and knowledge
We believe that a well-informed and knowledgeable stakeholder, whether an individual or interest groups, will provide more constructive feedback during consultation.
Furthermore, such stakeholders are able to provide accurate information on the environment and their own interests. This is essential in order to enable Statoil to minimise our impacts on the land, as well as identifying good solutions for co-existence.