By Anders Lorenzen
Norway the Scandinavian country regularly wins accolades for its rapid uptake of electric vehicles and more recently for scaling back domestic oil and gas exploration.
However, the country remains the biggest oil and gas player in Europe and it does not look as though it is planning to slow down anytime soon.
Research from Global Data, a data and analytics company, confirms that Norway still continues to go all out exploring for new fossil fuels. This would anger campaigners as the science shows these are fossil fuel reserves we cannot afford to burn if we are to limit climate change to 1.5-degree temperature rise.
The data shows that in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019 globally, Norway had the highest number of oil and gas discoveries with five discoveries. Three of those were conventional oil discoveries and the other two were conventional gas discoveries. All discoveries were offshore which undoubtedly will worry campaigners. There is already a huge focus and pressure on the Norwegian government to at least restrict some offshore fossil fuel activities.
Recently the country’s largest political party, Labour, withdrew its support for oil drilling in the Arctic. Putting a stop to proposals to drill for oil in the picturesque and biodiversity-rich Lofoten Islands, was an important win for climate and environment campaigners.
Ashwin Gupta, Oil & Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “All the discoveries in Norway were offshore discoveries. Two conventional gas discoveries and a conventional oil discovery were made in the Norwegian Sea Basin, while the remaining two conventional oil discoveries were made in the North Sea Basin.”
This, of course, only relates to projects in Norway. Norwegian oil and gas companies are aggressively hunting for new fossil fuels around the world, some in very sensitive environmental regions with fewer regulations than in Norway. Additionally, some of these projects are being funded by the Norwegian taxpayer.
Globally a total of 23 new oil and gas discoveries were made in Q1 of 2019.