CERAWeek: Commitment to gas most obvious climate measure

A stronger commitment to natural gas as a source of energy is the fastest, easiest way to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, according to Statoil Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund, who spoke Mar. 10 at CERAWeek in Houston.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Mar. 11
-- A stronger commitment to natural gas as a source of energy is the fastest, easiest way to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, according to Statoil Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund, who spoke Mar. 10 at CERAWeek in Houston. The annual conference was hosted by IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

Lund made a strong case for why the oil and gas industry must redouble its efforts to promote the advantages of gas. “Natural gas is the fossil fuel with the lowest carbon emissions. Using gas in power generation represents a good climate strategy with a large potential to reduce emissions,” he said.

Lund is uncertain when a global framework for carbon dioxide emissions will be in place. Nevertheless, he is convinced that pressure on the oil and gas industry to contribute to this process will intensify, both because the industry is considered a part of the problem and because it has the technology and the financial resources to find solutions.

Lund believes that the industry will have a better chance of finding profitable technology solutions if the price of carbon is set sufficiently high, either through emissions trading or by introducing a global tax on carbon.

Lund also advocated introducing national regulations in the US to promote CO2-efficient energy production.

Since 2002, Statoil's business activities in the US have shown marked growth. Statoil is currently the third largest deepwater player in the Gulf of Mexico, and has also carved out a foothold for shale gas production in the Marcellus area in the northeastern part of the US.

Lund believes that, over the longer term, shale gas will be a reliable domestic energy source for the US energy sector.

"Gas is a climate measure that is available now and will both create jobs and reduce emissions. I hear many talk about the benefits of gas, but now there is a need to move from talk to action," he said.

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