June 29, 2023 [Reuters]- Norway’s government said on Wednesday it has given approval for oil companies to develop 19 oil and gas fields with investments exceeding 200 billion Norwegian crowns ($18.51 billion), part of the country’s strategy to extend production for decades to come.
Norway’s parliament in 2020 introduced temporary tax incentives to encourage petroleum investment at a time of low activity, triggering a rush of applications from energy companies.
Among the field developments receiving final approval on Wednesday were nine operated by Aker BP (AKRBP.OL), three by Equinor (EQNR.OL) and several by Wintershall Dea and OMV (OMVV.VI).
“These are projects that will contribute to a continued high and stable output from Norway’s continental shelf as well as employment and value creation,” Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland told a news conference.
Norway’s petroleum production is fiercely opposed by environmentalists and others concerned that carbon emissions from the burning of oil and gas contributes to climate change.
The government says Norway’s oil and gas resources are essential to Europe’s energy security and will be needed for decades to come.
Norway last year overtook Russia as Europe’s biggest gas supplier after Moscow cut supplies amid the war in Ukraine.
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