Hanne Lekva, head of the new energy unit, will represent Statoil on an official Norwegian commission appointed to devise a strategy for making hydrogen the most important future energy source.

This body has been appointed following consideration by the Storting (parliament) of last autumn’s gas White Paper, which called for a stronger commitment to hydrogen.

The commission will formulate national goals and measures for developing the latter as an energy bearer and instrument for domestic value creation in an environmental perspective.

“Norway has broad industrial and research expertise relating to individual links in the hydrogen chain,” observes Ms Lekva.

“Its job will be to incorporate this know-how in an established system and create a realistic timetable for how the use of hydrogen can be expanded.”

This programme will cover the adoption of the gas for both stationary and mobile applications, and Ms Lekva sees her appointment as a recognition of Statoil’s expertise in the area.

“In the short and medium term, hydrogen will be produced from natural gas,” she observes.

“That challenges us to continue developing our technology and solutions for handling carbon dioxide in a good and environment-friendly way, based on the techniques used in the Sleipner area.”

Norwegian industry is also represented by Norsk Hydro on the commission, which is due to submit its report by 1 June next year.

The other members are the Nature and Youth environmental body, the Sintef research foundation, the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, and the Research Council of Norway.