3,528 emissions in 15 years by oil companies – only 11 reported

Johan Sverdrup fieldJohan Sverdrup field in the North Sea.Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB scanpix
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In the last 15 years, the oil companies on the Norwegian shelf have reported many thousands of illegal spills of oil, chemicals and waste. Few of the cases have been reported.

Klassekampen has reviewed figures and reports from the Norwegian Environment Agency and the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway for all emissions on the Norwegian shelf since 2004.

Of 3,528 emissions, of which 492 are large, the Norwegian Environment Agency has only reported 11 to the police. Three of the cases have been dropped, three have led to fines, and five are ongoing or excluded from the public. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway has never reported any.

The largest emission in recent years came from the Veslefrikk field in 2009, when 12,619 cubic meters – 12,619,000 liters – of chemicals, including oil, leaked from a waste well. Equinor, then Statoil, was reported for the discharge by the Norwegian Environment Agency. The case was later dropped.

Ann Mari Vik Green, section leader for petroleum activities at the Norwegian Environment Agency, believes that they are rarely served with a review. Green explains that the Norwegian Environment Agency has several other instruments they can use when environmentally harmful illegal discharges occur. The most important thing is close follow-up with the company.

“We often enter into a dialogue with the company and make sure that measures are assessed and implemented,” Green says to Klassekampen.

In addition, they can issue warnings and impose fines, or carry out more frequent inspections of the company responsible for the emissions.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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