Clear framework for future oil and gas production in Denmark

Source: press releases, 4 December 2020

illustration: Nordsøfonden
illustration: Nordsøfonden

On 3 December, a broad majority of the Danish Parliament set an end date for the production of oil and gas in the Danish part of the North Sea. The agreement provides a clear framework and security for the industry. In addition, the 8th Danish Licensing Round and all future licensing rounds are cancelled.

The agreement ensures the continuation of the existing activities in the Danish part of the North Sea and provides opportunities for future mini-rounds and neighbouring block licenses. Nordsøfonden looks forward to continuing to produce energy and raw materials for the Danish society.

Nordsøfonden will continue to focus on creating the greatest possible value for Danish society and work to support a high degree of self-sufficiency in energy for Denmark. A key element of this work is the redevelopment of the Tyra field. When back in operation, the Tyra facilities will once again be the central hub for the vast majority of gas produced in the Danish part of the North Sea. The new state of the art Tyra facilities will also be significantly more energy efficient than their predecessors.

The new agreement also allocates funds to explore the possibility for capture and storage of CO2 in the subsoil and to analyse the potential for electrification of the Danish production of oil and gas. Nordsøfonden sees great potential in CCS technology, and we are already investigating the possibilities for electrification of facilities in the Danish part of the North Sea together with our license partners. These technologies will contribute towards Denmark’s goal of a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030.

“When the calendar reads 2050, the oil and gas valves will be turned off for good, in line with our commitment to climate neutrality stipulated by the Danish Climate Act. We will cancel all future licensing rounds marking an end to fossil exploration by state invitation in Denmark, effective immediately,” says the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen.

The agreement also nails down remaining rules to ensure stability going forward. It is the intention to use the new green course in the North Sea as a springboard for an active and targeted role in the global debate on the role and responsibility of oil producing countries in the fight against climate change.

“As a small country our only chance to make a real dent in the global emissions curve is to lead the way by example. We intend to show what an ambitious yet balanced phase-out of fossil fuel production might look like, taking into account both the urgency of climate change and the very real concerns of workers employed in the fossil sector. Just transition has to be part and parcel of any socially balanced approach. Hopefully we can inspire others to follow suit,” adds Jørgensen.