Greater activity: The greenhouse gas emissions from Statoil's LNG plant at Melkøya outside Hammerfest increased by 160,000 tonnes during 2014. The increase is in the main due to more days of operation than the previous year. Photo: Harald Pettersen, Statoil.

Quota regulated greenhouse gas emissions down for industry and up for oil and gas

Greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas companies increased last year, without new fields being put into production. Emissions of greenhouse gases from aviation are also increasing. In industry, the downward trend of greenhouse gas emission is continuing.

Provisional emissions figures

Companies must report their greenhouse gas emissions to the Norwegian Environment Agency by 31 March each year.

The reports are verified by an independent third party, but are also approved by the Norwegian Environment Agency.

Some of the reports are still under approval by us. The figures may therefore alter somewhat until all the reports are finally approved.

This is shown by the provisional summary of greenhouse gas emissions for 2014 for Norwegian companies that are part of the EU emissions trading system.

140 Norwegian companies in offshore oil and gas, industry and aviation internally within the EU/EEA area are covered by the emissions trading system. Approximately half of Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions originate from companies covered by the emission trading system.

Greenhouse gas emissions are increasing

In total the emission of greenhouse gasses from the quota regulated companies increased from 26.8 million tonnes in 2013 to 27.2 million tonnes in 2014. This is an increase just in excess of 400,000 tonnes or 1.6 per cent.

In comparison, the greenhouse gas emissions from the quota regulated companies in the EU decreased by approximately 4.5 per cent from 2013 to 2014. In Europe, the reduction was primarily due to a reduction of emissions from the energy sector, but emissions from industry were also reduced.

"If we are to reach the goal of being a low emission society in 2050, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced in all sectors," says Ellen Hambro, Director General of the Norwegian Environment Agency.

Emissions continue to increase for oil and gas

In spite of no new oil or gas fields being put into production last year, the emissions from oil and gas production increased by over 400,000 tonnes from 2013 to 2014.

This increase comes despite a large reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the fields Skarv and Valhall in 2014 compared to the previous year. The reduction is due to the fact that, during start-up of the Skarv field and the new field centre at Valhall in 2013, there were extraordinary greenhouse gas emissions from safety flaring.

The increase in greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas production is in the main due to an increased need for energy in certain fields.

Of the newer fields, the LNG plant outside Hammerfest alone has seen an increase in emissions of 160,000 tonnes, mainly due to more days of operation during 2014.

Great variations in industry

The quota system is being tightened up

The purpose of the EU quota system is to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

The system has a common European ceiling on the number of tonnes of greenhouse gas companies can jointly emit.

This quota amount is reduced annually by 1.74 per cent. The European quota ceiling for 2020 will be 21 per cent lower than the emissions in 2005.

The provisional figures for onshore industry indicate that quota regulated emissions of greenhouse gasses were reduced somewhat in total, by approximately 200,000 tonnes from 2013 to 2014. But emission trends vary between different industries.

"Greenhouse gas emissions from onshore industry continue the downward trend we have seen since 1990," says Ellen Hambro.

All quota regulated district heating companies, apart from one, reduced their emissions of greenhouse gases last year. The reduction was due to a mild winter, while the trend towards less use of fossil fuels during peak demand continues.

In the timber processing industry, many factories have been closed in recent years. Emissions of greenhouse gasses from the timber processing industry continued the downward trend in 2014, due in the main to the closure of Sødra Cell at Tofte.

The oil refinery at Mongstad had lower emissions last year than the previous year, which was partly due to a temporary stop in operation for maintenance.

Some sectors of industry increased their greenhouse gas emissions last year. The greatest increase has come from the ferro alloy industry. This was partly due to increased production of silicon and ferrosilicon. Silicon is used to a large extent in the production of solar cells.

Greenhouse gas emissions from ferro alloys and from aluminium production were included in the emissions trading system with effect from 2013.

Emissions also increased from the minerals industry, in the main due to expansion at RHI Normag, where magnesium oxide is produced.

The table shows the change in greenhouse gas emissions from 2013- 2014 in 1,000 tonnes of C02 equivalents. Source: Norwegian Environment Agency.

Aviation

The reported quota regulated greenhouse gas emissions from aviation have increased from 2013 to 2014 in both Norway and the EU, by ten and three per cent, respectively.

All airlines flying within the EU/EEA area have been covered by the EU quota system since 2012 and must report their greenhouse gas emissions in the same way as other companies.

Six airlines report their emissions to the Norwegian Environment Agency, of which Norwegian Air Shuttle is clearly the largest, with Widerøe number two. SAS reports to the Swedish environment authorities.

Quota regulated greenhouse gas emissions from Norwegian increased by over 200,000 tonnes during the last year.

Quota settlement concluded

All quota regulated companies in Norway, including the airlines, have settled their emissions during 2014 by delivering quotas equivalent to their emissions to the government.

During 2014, companies were given approximately 17 million quotas free of charge. To cover the difference of 10 million between emissions and the assigned amount of free quotas for 2014, companies have either used quotas they have saved from earlier years or purchased quotas from others, including companies in Europe that have quotas to spare. 

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